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THE COPLEY LIBRARY : A HIDDEN GEM FOR TEENS

By : Cimmaron Holman Jr.

8 min read




Editor's Note: The following article is being reprinted as part of a collaboration between the Boston Compass and Teens in Print, a writing program created to amplify the marginalized voices of eighth to twelfth grade Boston students.. This piece was originally published on the Teens in Print website in March 2024.


Imagine you and your friends just got out of school and you all want to go out and do something. One friend decides they want food, another might want to get homework done, and another may want to do something fun. Well, there’s actually a place that meets all these criteria: the Boston Public Library’s Central Library in Copley Square is the place where you and your friends can get food, finish homework, and do something fun.


The majority of teens get food after school and then head home for the day, but the location of this library changes that. When they go home, most kids either don’t get a lot of homework done or wait until the last second due to distractions or obligations. The library is conveniently placed near a bunch of restaurants, making it an ideal spot for students to grab food and do any work before heading home.


The library is located in Back Bay, an area that is known for shopping and food. Entering Copley Square there are a lot of historical and iconic architectural buildings that make this area important to Boston’s history. The library is no different from these other buildings. The library is within walking distance of both the Orange and Green Line, making it extremely convenient to get to. But convenience isn’t the only thing that draws us teens in. 


The overall interior design of the library is stunning. From the outside, the library looks like a random, abandoned building—but as soon as you enter you see that the building is filled with murals and statues that capture the library’s history. The front of the building still has the original components that reflect its founding in 1895. However, when you enter through Boylston Street, there is a barrage of colors flowing into your eyes, which reflects the modern quality of the building. The high ceilings and open area give the impression of a modern school or area made for teens and youth. 


While the interior of the building is similar to a school, it is different due to its dedicated places for teens and children where there is no forced reading. The place made for kids is a place that almost has a mystical look to it, like it’s fresh out of a cartoon. This place is an area made for both parents to interact with their kids with the hope of giving them a positive outlook on reading and literature.


Moving across the hall from the kid section is the teen section. This section is so dedicated to making teens feel comfortable that they don’t allow any non-teens into that specific area of the library. This section is the one I stay in mainly—and personally, I love it.


While on the topic of the teen section—I love their staff. I haven’t experienced much of the other staff from the other sections but if they are half as good as the teen center staff then they are great. They made a bunch of my friends feel welcome and wanted there. When you walk into the teen center, you see a variety of flags corresponding to the sexual orientations of the LGBTQ+ community. Having this here really does make the area more welcoming. The staff even sometimes have freebies for teens when they walk in. The last time I went they were giving out putty and stickers. 


In the teen section, they also offer a variety of board games to keep teens entertained. My friends and I play Monopoly quite often. But it doesn’t stop at board games, they have a plethora of other games that include computer games and a game room with gaming consoles set up for teens to enjoy to their heart’s content. This room is always kept clean and is set up for optimized gaming.


As teens, we usually judge a place based on the vibe. The combination of the staff with their welcoming attitude and the wonderful decor of the room gives the library an overall welcoming vibe. I strongly recommend this place to all teens in Boston.


Cimmaron Holman Jr.





Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #169 May 2024


 

Check out all the art and columns of May's Boston Compass at www.issuu.com/bostoncccompass

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