People Of Boston Branches, the New Citywide Library Friends Coalition, Hitting its Stride in Battle to Save Libraries

The Boston Public Library consolidation crisis has become the midwife to both intense scrutiny of the BPL's governance and a new coalition of library advocacy groups that includes People of Boston Branches. Organized by post-doctoral fellow Brandon Abbs, formerly of Iowa City, PBB has quickly coalesced library Friends groups, community and labor organizations and given the long-established Citywide Friends of the Boston Public Library (CWFBPL), headed by David Vieira, a run for its money and relevance. PBB's Abbs seem keen on fighting for the well-being of all the BPL's branches users and stakeholders, while CWFBPL's Vieira has openly called for the closure of several branches without also calling for a vigorous public debate on such closings, including the Washington Village branch, featured in a moving profile by the Boston Globe recently, and Uphams Corner, the location of numerous programs for teens and children. Best of all, People of Boston Branches has a very informative web site, however plainly designed, listing BPL issues, petitions, FAQs, budget details and upcoming events.