Exploring a city’s libraries is a unique and fun way to get insight into its culture and history, and it also helps if you’re traveling and have some work to get done. From centuries-old historic institutions, to spacious mainstays in the heart of the city, these are some of the best libraries in Boston.
The Boston Public Library McKim Building
Located right in Copley Square, The Boston Public Library’s McKim Building is the city’s best known place to go for reading, work, or research. The building dates to 1895, but the library itself goes back to 1848, making it one of the oldest public libraries in America. It’s collection of 19 million books also makes it the second-largest public library in the country, only behind the Library of Congress. It has massive study rooms, and all of the modern technology—i.e. computers, printers, etc.—you’ll ever need. The iconic library, ’s also a short walk from iconic attractions like The Boston Public Gardens, The Boston Common, and Newbury Street.
The Boston Public Library. 700 Boylston St.
This is not only a gorgeous place to take some work, or dive into a book—The Boston Athenaeum is also one of the city’s most interesting and long-lasting attractions. Running since 1807, it is among the oldest, and most well regarded libraries in the United States. The inside feels like a Revolution-era mansion, with plush couches, towering stacks of novels, and plenty of quiet nooks to chill out in.
Boston Athenaeum. 10 ½ Beacon St.
Cambridge Public Library
The Cambridge Public Library is a great place to bring your kids. The youth program there hosts singalongs throughout the week, and there’s an excellent park outside where kids play soccer and families have picnics. The library itself is a spacious, with an excellent, up-to-date network of research media, and books. A good excuse to cross the Charles and spend a day exploring Cambridge, and an accountable place to set up for some work—the Cambridge Public Library is always a safe bet.
Cambridge Public Library. 449 Broadway
Faneuil Hall Branch Of The Boston Public Library
If you’re working out of a Boston library for a day, there are plenty of reasons to consider the Faneuil Hall Branch of the Boston Public Library. The bulk of those reasons exist in the surrounding attraction—Faneuil Hall—where you can find amazing seafood, shopping, and post-research drinks at the original Cheers bar.
Faneuil Hall Branch of BPL. 419 Faneuil St.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum
This famous presidential Library features a one-of-a-kind museum showcasing relics from and insights into President John F. Kennedy’s life. Located on a ten-acre park overlooking the water, the library offers historians and students unprecedented research materials that chronicle mid-20th-century politics and the works of the late president. The library also plays host to cultural events like performing arts shows, and awards shows, throughout the year.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. Columbia Point
Looking for other Boston activities? Check out our blog for more tips on what to do, see, and experience while you’re in town.