Runners gathered at 5 Boston Public Library locations and set off to the Roxbury Branch, the geographic center of Boston, for the launch of the BPL Passport Program. The Passport encourages movement throughout the city, across its neighborhoods highlighting each branch in the process. Getting your passport stamped at each branch unlocks prizes for the accomplishment (a water bottle at the first threshold, t-shirt at the next, and a finishers medal when complete). The Passport program is now open. You can pick one up for yourself at any branch and start your journey across the Boston Public Library system. Ask the reference desk at any branch to get yours stamped after pick-up!
Coach Dan gave remarks (below) to honor the day:
"This event is a special one because it brings together two things that represent the best of Boston: its running community and its leadership in education & libraries. The Boston marathon is the oldest continuously run marathon in North America and the Boston Public Library was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. This event and the Passport itself were created by the Children's Librarian of the central branch, Maggie Levine. Organizing the routes and the running portion was Fitch Henry, one of our leaders at Heartbreak.
As I just mentioned, running and libraries are old traditions here in Boston. What I'm more proud though, is the evolution of this running community and these libraries. We're in a renaissance of running right now with more people are running in more communities around this city than ever before. Groups like Pioneers Run Crew, Tralblazers, Black Girls Run, and Black Men Run, are using running as a tool for empowerment and as health advocacy all over this city. BPL over the past few years has reinvigorated the library system with its renovation projects bringing beautiful modern spaces to every of our city.
Today, with the release of the Passport, this is just the start. This is invitation to discover our city, to cross each neighborhood, discover the people and the places that are Boston. And, I don't know about you guys, but when someone says "passport" and it's not the US government, I usually think it's a going to be a cheesy pamphlet. But THIS - THIS is practically a coffee table book. A beautiful celebration of this community and civic leadership that is committed to encouraging connection and movement.
I'm grateful to BPL, to Maggie Levine, to Fitch Henry, and to all of you for celebrating the occasion with us. I hope you'll get your passport stamped. Tell your friends about it. Use the libraries. And Keep running. Thank you."