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Economic Mobility Lab’s Right Start Program teams up with Boston Public Library

October 2, 2019

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

This summer, the Boston Public Library expanded past its brick-and-mortar branches to reach residents somewhere else: at City Hall’s registry, where they pick up birth certificates and marriage licenses.

The partnership is part of the Economic Mobility Lab’s Right Start program, which aims to expand economic opportunity for young children and their families by co-locating city services. Thousands of families come to City Hall each year to pick up birth certificates– often for newborns or young children registering for school or athletic programs. The Right Start framework emerged as a way to meet residents where they are and offer additional services near the registry, including library card registration with representatives from the Boston Public Library.

The scene during the Economic Mobility Lab event

To date, BPL has reached hundreds of residents and created over fifty new library card accounts at City Hall. In addition to library card sign-ups, residents can register for BPL programming for children and adults.

Caren Rosales and Theresa Furbish, outreach librarians for BPL, cite City Hall as one of the most successful places to reach residents outside of the library itself.

Librarians from the Boston Public Library

Caren has spoken to families “who just moved to Boston and are looking for some English learning and citizenship resources, some people who are looking for entertainment with the kids out of school, and some who are excited to learn about free adult education classes.”

According to Caren, a highlight of the summer was meeting a wedding party of 11 people “of all ages, who came into City Hall looking very dapper.”

“Everyone celebrated the new marriage with loud cheers and new library cards.”