As a VENUE: Host your event…

The Boston Public Library offers one of the most unique and historic event venues in the city. Ornately designed spaces in a variety of sizes offer groups the ideal setting for their * Holiday parties * Corporate conferences * Weddings, and * More. By renting space at the Boston Public Library, you are providing support for all of the invaluable programs and services the BPL has to offer.

Known for its classical serenity and elegance, it features historical artwork by Daniel Chester French, John Singer Sargent, and more, as well as the magnificent Bates Hall reading room. The Boylston Street Building (formerly called the Johnson Building), designed by Philip Johnson and opened in 1972, underwent an award-winning renovation by William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. reopening in 2016. The transformed 21st century library space features a broadcast studio and innovation center. 12 distinctive spaces are available:

  • McKim Building
    • * MdKim Exhibition Hall * McKim Bates Hall * McKim Abbey Room * McKim Courtyard * McKim Guastavino Room * McKim Courtyard Tea Room & Map Room Tea Lounge * McKim Puvis de Chavannes Gallery * McKim Boylston Room, and the * McKim Lobby
  • Boylston Street Building
    • * Boylson Hall * Boylston Deferrari Hall, and the * Boylston Street Newsfeed Cafe’

Private Photography Sessions at the Central Library in Copley Square

  • Enjoy exclusive access to one of the most unique backdrops in the city.
    Schedule your one-of-a-kind * corporate * wedding, or * engagement
    photography at the picturesque and historic Boston Public Library!

A community room is available to 501(c) non-profit organizations holding meetings that are free and open to the public based on our policies and procedures. A community room may be requested up to 90-days in advance, and are granted on a first come first serve basis. No organization may use the Library as its primary meeting location.

NOTE: There are 24 Branch Community Rooms available accommodating 4-150 people.

Support the Boston Public Library… by simply booking your next special occasion here:

As a SHOP: Discover unique gifts…

You already love the library, now you can wear it too! Located within the Newsfeed Café in the Central Library, the BPL Gift Shop offers a rotating collection of literary-inspired treasures for visitors of all ages. The collection includes representations of BPL architecture and artwork, as well as work by small local entrepreneur businesses and artists. With every purchase, you are helping support the BPL and its commitment to remain “Free to All.” Merchandise is cataloged within these collections: * Apparel * Books * Gifts, and * Stationery.

Support the Boston Public Library… by simply purchasing your specialty merchandise here:

As an EATERY: Food for thought…

The Catered Affair operates the Map Room Tea LoungeCourtyard Tea Room, and the Newsfeed Café at the Central Library in Copley Square:

  • Map Room Tea Lounge: (Located in the McKim Building) Boston’s first tea-infused cocktail lounge. With its indicative architectural heritage, this industrial revolution vibe with cozy intellectual décor is winning the hearts of our guests. The Map Room Tea Lounge concept was drawn from the inspiration of great classic novels, writers, and the innovation of the 1800s to create a salon for the modern world within the historic McKim Building of the Boston Public Library. Featuring literary inspired cocktails taken from the authors who mentioned spirits in their novels, drank spirits while writing, or inspiration sparked from the classics on the shelves. Join us for bar bites, or our classic Copley & Afternoon tea.
  • Courtyard Tea Room: (Located in the McKim Building) A hidden jewel steeped in history overlooking the beautiful Italianate Courtyard at the Boston Public Library providing a sanctuary in Boston’s Bay Bay. Serving an elegant classic tea with a twist of New England culinary favorites, the Courtyard is the premier destination for afternoon tea in the city. No other tea room offers the experience of finely crafted tea sandwiches, sweets, and scones in a historic and architectural marvel like the McKim Building of the Boston Public Library. Embellish your experience with our signature tea-infused cocktails inspired by literary greats who were inspired by the great spirits featured in our menu.
  • Newsfeed Café: The Newsfeed Café is located at the prominent 700 Boylston Street address on the corner of Exeter and Boylston Streets inside the Central Library’s recently renovated Johnson building. The Newsfeed Café offers a selection of chef-inspired grab-and-go fare featuring gourmet salads, sandwiches, pastries, and family-friendly snacks. The beverage menu features cold-brewed coffee, iced tea, and an extensive selection of premium loose leaf tea. Catch up on the local news by reading the daily news tickers, listening to weekly live broadcasts and educational content from GBH’s satellite studio. Bringing you the perfect place to listen, learn, and support your local library!

Support the Boston Public Library… by simply dining here:

Be a DONOR: Show that you care…

Philanthropic support is critical to promoting leadership and innovation, enabling the Library to test new ideas, leverage those ideas to scale, and respond to evolving community needs. While city funding provides the Boston Public Library with a strong base of support, gifts at all levels make innovation and expansion of new services and programs possible.


  • Boston Public Library Fund: The Boston Public Library Fund is the primary fundraising arm of the BPL. Private philanthropy plays a pivotal role in transforming the Boston Public Library’s aspirations into results, and in catapulting us to new heights of innovation and achievement. The Boston Public Library Fund provides vital resources that help us reach out to underserved audiences, fulfill our role as a convener and equalizer, and take calculated risks to expand our outreach and programming. The Boston Public Library Fund gives us the resources we need not just to serve, but also to dream, and to grow. We welcome your support as we strive to keep the Boston Public Library—and our beloved city—strong and vital. Donations at specified amounts are designated and you may customize tour gifts. Recurring Donations are encouraged. Memorial, Tribute, and Matching Gifts are welcomed. And you may identify and underwrite Dedications.
  • Annual Fund: Your unrestricted gift up to $2,500 helps ensure that the Boston Public Library thrives as a vital, dynamic resource where human connections are formed, democratic ideals are strengthened through public discourse, and individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life are welcomed.
  • Endowment:  Named endowed funds can be established with a gift of $50,000 or more and may be added to over time to support the Library’s efforts to share treasures, activate democracy by serving as the community’s public square, and unlock opportunity for all of Boston’s citizens. Gifts are a permanent legacy and are frequently established by friends and families, often in memory or in honor of family members or loved ones.
  • Monthly Sustainer: Your donation will be made automatically every month until you decide to cancel it. Support the Library in an easy, flexible way that works for your budget and schedule. You may use a credit card, debit card, or bank account information to set up these payments.
  • Gifts in Honor or Memory of a Loved One: Many friends of the BPL elect to make gifts to the BPL Fund that commemorate a loved one’s life, birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion. We will gladly notify those you wish to know of any gifts made in their honor. When you make your gift, please note the name of the person you wish to commemorate.
  • Donor Advised Funds: You may use your donor advised fund to support the Boston Public Library Fund. Donor advised funds manage various charitable donations on behalf of individuals, families, and/or organizations. Donors who make charitable contributions receive an immediate tax advantage, and may give recommendations for grants from the fund.
  • Stock/Mutual Funds: A gift of appreciated securities provides benefits like an immediate charitable deduction for the full market value of the stock and avoidance of capital gains taxes that would normally be due upon sale.
  • Wire Transfer: Wire your gift from anywhere in the world and in any currency (subject to limits imposed by US laws and regulations) directly to the Fund. Your bank of choice should be able to complete this process for you.
  • Gift Planning: Planned gifts include bequests through your will or living trust, retirement plan or life insurance policy beneficiary designations, charitable trusts and charitable gift annuities.
  • Matching Gifts: Many employers will match your gift to the Boston Public Library Fund. By completing a matching gift form through your company, you may be able to double, or even triple, the impact of your gift.
  • Book Dedication: Dedicate a Boston Public Library book to someone you love. Through our bookplate campaign, you can print a name and personalized message inside a Boston Public Library circulating book.
  • Dedicate one of Bates Hall’s iconic green lamps: This year we are offering a unique and limited opportunity to honor a family member or friend in Bates Hall, the premier reading and research room at the Central Library’s McKim Building. For a short time, you can dedicate one of Bates Hall’s 56 iconic green lamps, honoring the 1895 original fixtures, with a distinctive engraved brass plaque by making a tax deductible gift of $18,000 or a commitment payable over three years to the Boston Public Library Fund. Bates Hall is considered architecturally one of the most important rooms in the world. Patrons and scholars visit regularly to research, study, and read in this idyllic location. Your gift will light the way for a brighter future for Boston and beyond.
  • Institutional Giving: The Boston Public Library Fund is proud to partner with institutions across Greater Boston and beyond to pioneer innovative programs and enhanced community services at the Boston Public Library. Private philanthropy is essential to the Library, enabling a multitude of special programs and multiplying impacts for communities across the City of Boston. Institutional support allows the Library to go above and beyond what is possible through City funding alone, accelerating the Library’s work in unlocking opportunity, activating democracy, and sharing treasures, while ensuring it remains 100% free to all.

Support the Boston Public Library… by simply contributing here:


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700 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116, USA

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