Photographs in Public Buildings

Little PO BoxesWhen you go in to Roslindale Post Office, you see a wall consisting mainly of Post Office™ Boxes. Since they are rather lovely old boxes, I’ve been wanting for a while to photograph them.

Now, I am of a anxious nature, and eager to avoid a one-way trip to Guantánamo Bay, and Uncle Sam,who of course owns US post offices, is of a suspicious nature these days. So I asked the very pleasant person who served me if I might be allowed to photograph the boxes.

She told me that permission was required to take photos in Post Offices. I asked who I needed permission from, she told me that it was the manager, went to ask said manager, and returned a minute later to say that permission had been granted.

After snapping the PO boxes, I went to the nearby and recently-renovated Roslindale Community Center. As an aside about community/public access, shouldn’t a community center have a web site? There are a few details on various Boston.gov pages, but I was unable to find a site that told me about services, hours, etc.

I went in, asked if I could take some photos, was told that I could and asked why I wanted to. I took one of the front desk (and no, I’m not sure why the word of the day was venal). I also took one outside, although I didn’t feel I had to ask permission to do that. (I actually took more than that, but only posted those two to Flickr. And no, the map image isn’t here by mistake in place of either of them; it’s from Boston.gov).

Rozzie LibraryOn a roll, and having some books to return, it was on to the library. There, I was told that I was not allowed to take pictures inside the library without permission from HQ. I was given a phone number there. I didn’t call the number. Instead, I looked up the photography policy on the BPL web site: We are happy to have you take photographs of our buildings for your enjoyment but… (follow the link to see the restrictions; they seem rather reasonable to me). Anyway, I contented myself with taking a photo of the outside of the library.

It has since occurred to me that I should go to the USPS site to seek the Post Office’s official photography policy, but I find it hard to find simple information (such as the postage to airmail a birthday card to one’s mother in the UK) at that site. But that’s another post…

West Roxbury Library

Computing in the CourtyardI spent a couple of hours this morning working at library in West Roxbury. It hadn’t previously realized what a lovely library it is. After a look round the inside, I went out to the little courtyard and sat on one of the benches to take advantage of the shade and the wireless.

If you click over from the photo to its Flickr page, you’ll see that its neighbors there show different views of the library. One shows the front, and the other shows the lovely indoor perch I found after I came in from the courtyard.

DRM at the BPL

As reported by Universal Adam, Glyn from across the pond, and from the source itself:

DefectiveByDesign.org will be taking action this Saturday at the Boston Public Library to demand that they remove DRM technology from their collection… gathering outside the entrance at the main branch of the Boston Public Library… from 1pm until 3pm on Saturday, February 9th, 2008.

Yes, that’s tomorrow. I don’t think that I’ll be able to make it in person. So please consider this post my protest against the use of DRM at the BPL: Data Restricted by Microsoft at the Boston Public Library.