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Boston Public Library: Mattapan Branch

Boston Public Library: Mattapan Branch

As early as December 18, 1849 the people of Mattapan were concerned about library facilities. It was on that date that Increase S. Smith founded the Mattapan Library Association. On May 2, 1854, the Boston Public Library opened, and in 1870 the suburb of Dorchester, which included Mattapan, was annexed to Boston. The Mattapan Branch evolved over many years beginning with a reading room attached to the delivery station in the Oakland Hall Building in Mattapan. In 1898, the book collection consisted of ninety-eight volumes.

Around 1924, the population of Mattapan began a rapid increase. As newer groups began to establish themselves in the more central Boston neighborhoods, Jewish immigrants moved in large numbers to Mattapan.

The small reading room was granted Branch status in 1923, but could not meet the demand of the growing population. Annual circulation climbed from 20,000 volumes in 1924 to 75,010 in 1926. Mattapan residents requested a new library. Citizens’ letters and petitions took effect, and on June 22, 1931 the Mattapan Library Branch at 10 Hazelton Street opened its doors.

The Hazelton Street branch served the neighborhood well for more than 75 years, but with the formation of a Mattapan Library Task Force, the procurement of necessary funding in 1997, and the perseverance of Mayor Thomas Menino and Councilor Charles Yancey a new chapter began. On February 28, 2009 the Mattapan community celebrated the opening of an architecturally-stunning, technologically enhance

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Boston Public Library: Mattapan Branch

1350 Blue Hill Ave., Boston, MA

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