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Council Supports Renaming Library's Children's Room After the Late Barbara Rhodes

Barbara Rhodes, a Children’s Librarian for the Boston Public Libraries in Jamaica Plain for 30 years, passed away on May 21, 2024 at the age of 68.

At a board meeting on May 16, 2024, while Barbara was in hospice care, the Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library voted unanimously in support of renaming their children’s room area after Barbara.

As the Children’s Librarian at the Jamaica Plain Branch, Barbara brought her love of books and stories to innumerable children and their families. Her work as Children’s Librarian was a significant part of the branch’s popularity. Barbara played a pivotal role in expanding the library’s programming to better engage with BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth, bringing the Boston-based social justice group Wee the People, among others, to the library.

In addition to creating special programming for her weekly preschool storytime, Barbara also created programming for Kids Club, the JP homeschooling community, and made “crafts-to-go” kits for neighborhood children when the Library was closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Barbara was a founding Advisory Member of JP Reads, a community-building initiative to explore an individual book through a range of programming. She enlisted other librarians to join JP Reads and created all of the children’s programming for the initiative.

Barbara was recognized by the City of Boston for her work as a recipient of the 2023 Shattuck Public Service Award for dedicating her time, talents and wisdom to improving the lives of children throughout the city.

The Council adopted a resolution supporting the Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library’s initiative to change the name of the children’s room at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library to the Barbara Rhodes Children’s Room.

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