Past Event Archive

Here are some of the events and activities that the Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch have done in the past:

September 25, 2015, 10:00am

Official Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Renovation of the JP Branch 

Join Mayor Marty Walsh, JP's City Councilor Matt O'Malley, BPL Interim President David Leonard and other dignitaries to mark the official groundbreaking for the renovation of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library.  The Friends of the JP Branch Library are on the program too.  


October 5, 2015, 6:30pm

Annual Meeting of the Friends of the JP Branch Library 

Join us for our annual meeting to be held in the back room of Doyle's (3484 Washington St, JP).  Refreshments will be provided with a cash bar. 


July 25, 2015, 10:30am

Memories of the JP Branch 

Start the countdown to closure by sharing your memories of the JP Branch, then see them brought to life by the improv True Story Theatre. We can celebrate the old and new as we tell our stories and celebrate the beginning of the library's renovation.  


August 1 2015, 11am - 1:30pm

Super Hero Send-Off

On the final day that the Branch is open before the renovation, we plan to send-off the "old" branch with a pack of superheroes.  Come snap a selfie with Superman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Captain America or the Incredible Hulk. They'll all be there to say goodbye to the library and give it a SUPER send off.  Hear about plans for the amazing new building we will have in the spring of 2017.

There will be cake and ice cream (ice cream generously donated by our friends  JP Licks and FoMu) as well as other refreshments.  We hope everyone will come say adieu to the JP Branch!

Program partially funded by a grant from the City-Wide Friends of the BPL (with additional funding from the Friends of the JP Branch Library).


June 23, 2015, 6:00pm to 7:45pm

6th and Final Community Meeting on Library Renovation

The final public meeting on the renovation project.  Designs will be finalized and discussion will be on interior details! Topics will include furniture, signage and materials to be used. Please bring your thoughts about what should be included in the renovated building and also what to do during the closure to support JP patrons.  The building actually closes at 6pm, entry to the meeting will be through the back door directly into the Community Room in the basement.


Friday & Saturday May 15 & 16, 9AM-5PM

Annual Book Sale 

Thousands of titles in every genre at rock-bottom prices.  We will bring back the $5 bag in the last hour this year:  purchase a bag (generously donated by Whole Foods) for $5 and take away all the books and DVDs you can fit in it (only between 4-5pm on Saturday the 16th).


$3300 raised - thanks for your support!


Saturday April 11, 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Annual Fundraising Concert 


2015 concert

The Gloucester Hornpipe & Clog Society's annual benefit concert for the Friends of the JP Branch Library will feature a range of music to welcome you, after a long winter, to the glories of spring, including rousing Irish songs and tunes, boisterous maritime music, revivals from their long tradition of performances, original tunes, and some delightful surprises.   A $10 donation is requested.  Snacks will be on sale. The Gloucester Hornpipe & Clog Society are a recipient of the City-Wide Friends of the BPL Inaugural BPL Benefactor Award in 2015 - help them support the JP Plain Branch and treat yourself to a wonderful evening.


March 25, 2015, 6:00pm to 7:45pm

Community Meeting on Library Renovation

Next public meeting on the renovation project.  Designs are finalized and it is time to discuss interior details! Please bring your thoughts about what should be included in the renovated building and also what to do during the closure to support JP patrons.  The building actually closes at 6pm, entry to the meeting will be through the back door directly into the Community Room in the basement.


Saturday, March 7, 11:00am to 1:45pm

Caribbean Festival

Providing an antidote to winter, JP resident Kathleen Gaskin-Holland brings authentic Trinidadian cooking, costumes, music and dance to the Jamaica Plain Branch Library.  Featuring Kathleen's troupe of carnival dancers and Charles Sarjent on the steel drum.  Come sample some wonderful food and dance away those winter blues!  Free and open to the public.


Thursday December 4, 6:00pm to 7:45pm

Annual Holiday Party

Please join us to celebrate this festive season.  Bring a dish to share with fellow library lovers (the Friends will provide refreshments too) and then listen to a concert by the Boston Percussion Group at 7:00  Arts and crafts activities for the kids will also be happening.


Wednesday November 12, 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Community Meeting on Renovation Design (#4)

Please join representatives from the Boston Public Library and Utile, Inc. for an update on the design process for the renovation of the Jamaica Plan Branch. Updates will be provided on the latest stage of design, the budget reviews that have been conducted and the scope of the project as of this date.The team will discuss preparations needed to move into construction and review the timeline for that next phase of the project. NOTE: The branch closes at 6pm, just use the back rear door after hours to attend the meeting in the lower level community room. 


Thursday October 30, 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Annual Meeting/Anthony M. Sammarco Lecture

Come to hear an update on the Friends'  activities this year after which Anthony M. Sammarco will speak on his new best selling book Lost Boston with a book signing to follow. Copies will be available for purchase for $18.95.  Lost Boston has 68 essays on once well known institutions that failed to stand the test of time, and were either demolished, lost to fire or to neglect. The book has as many essays on neighborhood institutions as it does on downtown Boston. It includes the once popular Readville Trotting Park, the Boston Garden, the City Point Aquarium, Jordan Marsh Department Store, Scollay, Haymarket & Pemberton Squares, along with the Parker House, Tremont House and Hotel Pelham.

There is no section of America half so good to live in as splendid old New England – And there is no city on this continent so lovely and lovable as Boston.  Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens,) 1871


Thursdays, June 5th through September 25th, 2014 4:00 to 7:00PM

Book Sale at the Farmers' Market

We will have some books and DVDs for sale each week at the Loring-Greenough House Farmers' Market this summer along with some of our fabulous tote bags.  Stop by to check out the selection and get some information on current programming at the Branch and progress on the renovation design.


Monday, August 4 2014 from 6:00PM to 7:30PM

Community Meeting on the JP Branch Renovation Design

Architects Utile will present some further refined designs based on the June meeting and their work thereafter. All community members are invited to attend. To be held at the JP Branch Library (the branch will be closed but the downstairs community room will be open just for the meeting).

Tuesday August 5, 5:30pm to 11:00pm

JP Reads Fundraiser at Tres Gatos

Come to Tres Gatos on the night of August 5th -- eat, drink and buy some books.  A percentage of the proceeds from that night will go to JP Reads.  Support community literary program and enjoy a wonderful evening at a local restaurant.

Saturday August 9, 11:00am to 1:30pm

Second Annual Ice Cream Social

Come to the Jamaica Plain Branch Library for some ice cream (thanks to JP Licks and FoMu!) to celebrate the summer and the branch having OPEN HOURS on Saturdays.  A $2 donation is requested (but not required)

Saturday, July 19, 2014 from 11:00AM to 1:00PM

What is 3D Printing? workshop

Find out about 3D printing. Kevin Osborn, Maker Extraordinaire, will talk about and demonstrate the use of a 3D printer. The possibility of including a Maker Space with a 3D printer is under discussion as part of the  Jamaica Plain Branch renovation!  Get to know what all the talk is about! To read more about Osborn, see his blog

Generously funded by a grant from the City Wide Friends of the Boston Public Library.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 2:30PM

Visit from Mayor Walsh

We've compiled all the thank you notes and pictures generated during the annual book sale into a booklet - which we will give to the Mayor to say THANKS for increasing the funding for the JP Branch Renovation and for his support of neighborhood branch libraries.  Come by to voice your support too and have a piece of cake!  



Wednesday, May 21 2014 from 6:00PM to 7:30PM

Community Meeting on the JP Branch Renovation

Architects Utile will present some very preliminary design thoughts.  All community members are invited to attend. To be held at the JP Branch Library (the branch will be closed but the downstairs community room will be open just for the meeting).


Friday, May 16 9:00-4:30 and Saturday, May 17 9:00 -5:00

Annual Book Sale

Thousands of books and DVDs in every genre all reasonably priced between $1-$2.    

Saturday from 4:00-5:00pm - purchase a grocery bag for $5 (generously donated by Whole Foods) and take away all you can fill it with!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014 from 6:30PM to 7:45PM

JP Writes & Invites: Randy Susan Myers 

Randy Susan Myers is the author of the novels  The Murderer's Daughters and The Comfort of LiesThe Murderer's Daughters follows two sisters as they grow up, always asking how far can forgiveness stretch?  While also exploring sibling loyalty, the aftermath of family violence and the reality of redemption. The Comfort of Lies is a novel about the collateral damage of infidelity which reveals the darkest most private thoughts of 3 women.

Saturday, April 5, 2014 from 10:00AM to 4:00PM

CityWide Friends Book Sale

The Friends of the JP Branch are the co-sponsor for the April book sale downtown and that means we get some of the proceeds (total was $445!).  Please go and shop your heart out!  All the details are here


Wednesday, April 9, 2014 from 6:00PM to 7:30PM

Kick-Off Meeting for Branch Renovation Design Phase

Meet the architects - Utile Design and hear about the schedule for the renovation (and associated community meetings).  To be held at Curtis Hall, 2nd floor.


Saturday, March 29, 2014 from 7:00PM to 9:00PM

Gloucester Hornpipe & Clog Society Annual Benefit Concert 

Come along to hear this wonderful group, the Gloucester Hornpipe & Clog Society who for many years has performed an annual benefit concert for The Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library.   This event is a reunion of sorts for all the existing and former members of the group and is always a fantastic time! They play "a lively mix of Celtic jigs and reels, American Colonial-era tunes, sing-along sea chanteys, and original songs of colorful people and places from New England's rich history. From ragtime to oldtime, the band's rollicking, friendly style is fun for all ages".

A $10 suggested donation is requested. Refreshments and CDs will be available for sale.

cake from GH&CS concert 03292014

Thursday, March 6, 2014 from 6:30PM to 7:45PM

JP Writes & Invites: Kathleen Hirsch 

Kathleen Hirsch has been a Jamaica Plain resident since the summer of 1990.  In her book A Home in the Heart of a City she describes JP using her personal observations and interviews with the extraordinary individuals who make up the community.  She is also the author of Songs from the Alley and A Sabbath Life: One Woman's Search for Wholeness.

Refreshments served at 6:15pm.


Saturday, January 11, 2014 from 11:00AM to 1:00PM

JP Writes & Invites: Margaret Richard 

Margaret Richard has been in the fitness business for more than thirty years. Her television program “Body Electric” has been a staple on PBS for 22 years and has a best-selling accompanying book. Margaret has appeared before the U.S. Senate's Special Committee on Aging and was recently inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame.  Just in time for your new year's resolutions come along to hear how to "Fight Aging with Muscle!"

Refreshments will be served.

Thursday, December 12, 2013 from 6:00PM to 7:45PM

Annual Holiday Party

Featuring festive refreshments and a live performance by Len Solomon - Mr. Bellowphone.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

JP Jubilee Winter Concert


photo by Maria Weissman 


Thursday, November 7, 2013 from 6:30PM to 7:45PM

JP Writes & Invites: Nancy Madore 

Nancy Madore is the author of Enchanted, a series of erotic bedtime stories for women and The Hidden Ones the first of a planned series of six historical novels taking readers on a journey from ancient Mesopotomia to Armageddon.  

Refreshments served at 6:15pm.

Thursday, October 10, 2013 from 6:00PM to 7:45PM

Annual Meeting of the Friends of the JP Branch Library


JP Writes & Invites: Mark Schneider

This event is being held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library. Mark Schneider is the author of Joe Moakley's Journey: From Boston to El Salvador. A biography of the Massachusetts Congressman who was a tireless advocate for peace, justice for Central America and economic development.

In November 1989 in El Salvador, six Jesuit priests and their two female housekeepers were rousted from their beds and shot as they lay face down on the ground. At first, the George H. W. Bush administration echoed the Salvadoran military's line that the rebels must have done it. When House Speaker Tom Foley tasked a senior congressman with investigating the murders, the people of El Salvador found an unlikely champion in the person of John Joseph Moakley, representative from South Boston. In Joe Moakley's Journey, Mark Robert Schneider charts one of the most unusual transformations in American politics. A native son of South Boston, Moakley was an effective and influential House member, whose greatest influence and legacy is, paradoxically, far from home in the fields of El Salvador and Central America. Though firmly, fiercely grounded in his hometown of South Boston--he never lived anywhere else--from the beginning of this investigation until his death in 2001, issues of Central American justice, peace, and economic development became Joe Moakley's cause.

Refreshments served at 6:00pm, in conjunction with the Annual Meeting business. 



Thursday, September 26, 2013 from 6:30PM to 7:45PM

JP Writes & Invites: Roger Gottlieb & Miriam Greenspan

Miriam Greenspan is the author of Healing through Dark Emotions: The Wisdom of Grief, Fear and Despair.  Ms. Greenspan is a renowned psychotherapist, writer and speaker whose pioneering book  A New Approach to Women and Therapy (1983) helped define the field of women's psychology.  Honored as a 'feminist foremother' in psychology, Ms. Greenspan has given hundreds of workshops and public talks on women's psychology and therapy throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Roger S. Gottlieb is th author of Spirituality: What It Is and Why It Matters. He is professor of philosophy at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is the author or editor of sixteen books and more than 100 articles on environmentalism, religious life, contemporary spirituality, political philosophy, ethics, the Holocaust, feminism and disability. For the last 15 years Gottlieb has concentrated on the religious, spiritual and ethical dimensions of the environmental crisis and on the place of religion in a democratic society. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013 from 12:30PM to 2:30PM

Ice Cream Fundraiser

Stop by the branch and grab a scoop - suggested donation is $2.  Have a cool and refreshing treat and support the library at the same time.  Many thanks to JP Licks for donating the ice cream!


Thursday, June 6, 2013 from 6:45PM to 7:45PM

JP Writes & Invites: Uzuri Wilkerson

Uzuri M. Wilkerson wrote her first novel while attending the City on a Hill Charter High School. Sweet,  an adult paranormal novel, came to fruition in the summer of 2009. Uzuri is a graduate of Wellesley College and currently resides in Roxbury, MA.  Refreshments served at 6:30pm.


Thursday, May 23, 2013 from 6:45PM to 7:45PM

JP Writes & Invites: Jodi Daynard

Ms Daynard has a wonderful new novel The Midwife's Revolt that follows midwife Lizzie Boylston from her grieving days of widowhood after Bunker Hill to her deepening friendship with Abigail Adams and finally to her dangerous work as a spy for the Revolutionary Cause. 

Friday, May 17, 2013 from 10:00AM to 5:00PM & Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 9:30AM to 1:00PM

Annual Used Book Sale

A huge selection of books and media (CDs, DVDs) at rock-bottom prices. Thanks to generous donations received throughout the year we can offer books on every topic - thousands to choose from. Come along to stock up for all your summer reading needs and tell your friends.  All proceeds go back into supporting the JP Branch Library!

Thursday, May 9, 2013 from 6:45PM to 7:45PM

JP Writes & Invites: Anthony Mitchell Sammarco

Mr Sammarco is a local historian, the author of over 60 books and a endless font of knowledge about JP history. Just in  2013, his published books include Walking Tours in the Hub of the Universe and Howard Johnson:28 Flavors.

Wake Up the Earth Festival on May 4th!

Our table at WUTE 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013 from 6:45PM to 7:45PM

JP Writes & Invites: Pablo Medina

Mr Medina is a JP resident, a poet and a novelist as well as being a professor at Emerson College. Recently, he wrote The Man Who Wrote on Water (a collection of poetry) and Cubop City Blues (a novel about a bustling urban landscape and the stories that give a city its voice).


Many thanks to the GH&CS for 26 years of ongoing support!!

Saturday, March 9, 2013 from 7:00PM to 9:00PM

Annual Gloucester Hornpipe & Clog Society Benefit Concert 

Join us for the yearly reunion of this most excellent collection of musicians who will bring their unique blend of Celtic, Maritime and Colonial songs to the JP Branch.  $10 suggested donation with proceeds going to benefit the JP Branch Library.  


Thursday, February 28, 2013 from 6:45PM to 7:45PM

JP Writes & Invites: Jennifer Haigh

Ms Haigh is a Boston resident with a new book of ten short stories due out in January: News From Heaven. She is best know for her novel Faith which deals with the recent scandals within the Catholic Church.


Thursday, February 7, 2013 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM

Branch Renovation Meeting 

Discussion about the renovation plans for the Jamaica Plain Branch.


Thursday, January 24, 2013 from 6:45PM to 7:45PM

JP Writes & Invites: Chuck Collins

The kick-off to our new author series where local writers will read from their work, discuss their careers and take questions from the audience.  Join as as this well-respected JP resident gets things rolling. Chuck Collins is the author of 99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About ItA Voting Guide for the 99 PercentHow Our Tax System Subsidizes Bloated CEO Pay and many more works of non-fiction.



Thursday, December  13, 2012 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM

Annual Winter Holiday Party 

Bring a dish to share and spread the holiday cheer.  We'll also have a return performance by the Boston Typewriter Orchestra!

Wednesday, November  28, 2012 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM

Public Meeting on Branch Renovation

The Boston Public Library has retained the services of architects Miller Dyer Spears to lead a community process to discuss renovations to the Jamaica Plain Branch of the BPL. The first public meeting will be held on Wednesday November 28th from 6pm – 8pm in the Community Room at the Curtis Hall BCYF Community Center located right next to the branch.  An appointed Community Advisory Committee will review the plan, discuss community and Library goals, and help shape renovation options that the Library can move forward in its next request for capital funding.  Members of the public are invited and encouraged to attend and your support would be greatly appreciated.


Thursday, December  6, 2012 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM

First Thursday 

See our amazing new community-created mosaic created this fall with the design help of fabulous artist, Betty Anne Libby and financial support from the City-Wide Friends of the BPL. We are hosting an opening reception.


Saturday, December  8, 2012 from 9:30AM to 1:30PM

"Pop-Up" Book Sale

Pick up some holiday gifts at amazing prices.  We have books of all descriptions, DVDs and other media and all to be had at rock bottom prices. All proceeds support the Jamaica Plain branch library.


Thursday, October 11, 2012 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM

Friends' Annual Meeting


Thursday, September 20, 2012 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM

Banned Books Week Talk

Dr. Laura Sanders of Simmons College will speak on the books they didn't want you to read in celebration of Banned Books Week.


Thursday, May 31, 2012 from 6:30PM to 8:00PM

Community Art Project Input Meeting

Come share your thoughts about what the theme for the new mosaic installation we are planning for the auditorium should be.  Meet the artist and see how you can get involved. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012 from 1:00PM to 4:00PM

Walk Around the Pond fundraiser

Spend the afternoon at one JP treasure to support the 2 library branches.

Suggested donation of $5 per person (children and dogs are free!)

The registration table will be near the Boathouse.


Friday, May 18, 2012 from 9:30AM to 5:00PM


Saturday, May 19, 2012 from 9:30AM to 1:00PM

Annual Book Sale

Used books for children and adults.  Expanded to a two-day extravaganza!


Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 10:00AM to 1:30PM

Celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Friends

commemorate 60 years of program & advocacy by the Friends of the JP Branch (who first met 4/28/1952)

Tea Party like it's 1952, all ages welcome, with tea & elegant snacks

Children: crafts & snacks in honor of Charlotte's Web 

Young Adults: Read 60: from April 22-28 read & record 60 minutes or pages then come to the party to receive a prize


Annual Gloucester Clog & Hornpipe Society Concert 2012

Celtic, Maritime and Colonial music

annual gloucester hornpipe & clog concert 2012

2011 Holiday Party -

featuring the amazing Boston Typewriter Orchestra

see their performance


100th Birthday Bash

The party of the century!