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T bus riders can now check out Boston Public Library digital books outside 20 stops across Boston

A "Browse, Borrow, Board" decal outside the Ashmont bus station.Handout/City of Boston

Waiting for that MBTA bus to arrive? Why not crack a book?

The Boston Public Library is offering bus riders the opportunity to check out digital titles at 20 stops across the city through August, according to Mayor Michelle Wu’s office.

Riders can scan a QR code with their phones above large blue decals marked “Browse, Borrow, Board” outside the stops to select titles, the mayor’s office said Thursday. A full list of the digital library pop-up locations is available online.

The decals were installed this week, the mayor’s office said.

Riders can select audiobooks, and digital books, newspapers, and magazines from the library’s offerings. The newspaper and magazine content includes 7,000 titles from over 125 countries.


Patrons can check out as many as five titles for two-week stretches.

“Our investment in our city’s public transit riders has taken a variety of forms, from eliminating fares for three crucial bus routes to expanding the bus lane network,” Wu said in a statement.

The pilot initiative “builds on our efforts to make public transportation more enjoyable, while also connecting our residents to the resources the Boston Public Library already offers.”

BPL President David Leonard said “we share in the value that knowledge and transportation could both be ‘Free to All.’”

“This opportunity connects public library and public transit offerings around learning and movement in our city, allowing us to better serve our residents,” he said.

City officials said the offerings are mainly in English and Spanish and that the library has chosen to focus on titles that are easy to enjoy on the bus, including poetry, short stories, and short audiobooks, plus a selection of best sellers and books for children and teenagers.

“The MBTA continues to seek out innovative ways to improve our riders’ experience on the T, and we’re proud to partner with the BPL and the City on this exciting initiative that expands the digital reach of the library’s offerings to our riders,” MBTA General Manager Philip Eng said.


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