7.01 Regional Reference and Research Centers; Standards

  1. For each regional library system, the Board of Library Commissioners (Board) shall designate a minimum of one regional reference and research center. If the area served by the regional library system exceeds 1,500 square miles the Board shall designate a second regional reference and research center. Additional centers may be designated by the Board based on the recommendation of the regional library system. If a second center is required and there are not sufficient libraries which meet the minimum criteria specified in 605 CMR 7.01(3), the requirement for a second center shall be waived.
  2. A minimum of 12 ½¢ per capita shall be expended by the regional library system for regional reference and research center services if there is a single designated center, and a minimum of 18¢ per capita if two or more are designated.
    Additional funding may be provided based on the types and range of services provided by the center(s).

    These minimum per capita amounts may be adjusted by vote of the Board based on an increase or decrease in the regional library system annual appropriation using the FY2002 appropriation as a base.
    The Board may waive this requirement upon the recommendation of a regional library system if:
    (a) The regional library system has conducted an open competitive procurement that has resulted in a library or libraries offering to provide reference services described in 605 CMR 7.01(3) and (4) for an amount less than the amount determined by the formula in 605 CMR 7.01(2); or,
    (b) The regional library system and an existing reference center library mutually agree in writing that the reference services described in 6.05 CMR 7.01(3) and (4) can be provided for an amount less than the amount determined by the formula in 605 CMR 7.01(2).
  3. The Board establishes minimum eligibility standards for regional reference and research centers relating to strength of resources, accessibility to resources, use of resources, and level of performance. These standards constitute minimum criteria for a library to be designated a regional reference and research center under MGL c. 78, § 19C(2). At its discretion, the Board may grant a phase in period for implementation of any or all standards adopted under MGL c. 78, § 19C(2). In the event no library within the area served by a regional library system meets the minimum eligibility standards established by the Board, the Board may waive any or all of the standards in order to designate a regional reference and research center as set forth in 605 CMR 7.02(1). Services shall be available in person, via toll free telephone for member libraries, fax and electronic means. Each regional reference and research center shall publicize the services it offers.
  4. A regional library system and a regional reference and research center may agree on the provision of certain further reference and research services, such as:
    (a) Specialized reference collections (includes foreign language);
    (b) Extended hours reference service;
    (c) Enhanced electronic and web-based reference services;
    (d) Specialized services for users with disabilities;
    (e) Training for libraries and the public in the use of supplemental reference services;
    (f) 24x7, chat or similar web-based on-demand service.
  5. For purposes of this program, within the Boston Regional Library System, regional reference and research center services shall be defined as those provided through the Library of Last Recourse for service to residents and through the Statewide Reference and Referral Center for libraries.

7.02 Regional Library Systems; Eligibility Requirements for Participation as a Member of a Regional Library System

  1. Every public, academic, school and special library within a region will be eligible to participate as a member of a regional library system upon meeting certain requirements. These requirements are that the participating library shall:
    (a) be part of an organization or institution that has a legal basis for operation;
    (b) have an organized collection of information and material accessible for use by its designated clientele;
    (c) have a fixed location;
    (d) have established and posted hours of service;
    (e) have an on site, paid librarian-in-charge who meets Massachusetts education and certification requirements in effect for that type of library. (For public schools, each secondary school library member must be staffed by a full time certified library teacher, and each non-secondary school library member must be staffed by either a full or part time certified library teacher. For each non public school and each charter school, a Masters in Library Science degree shall be considered equivalent to a library teacher certification for purposes of meeting this requirement);
    (f) have a written mission statement and service objectives, which the library reviews and evaluates annually;
    (g) have an established funding base and an annual budget;
    (h) be authorized to participate by its appropriate administrative authority;
    (i) agree to the terms and conditions of the regional library system membership agreement as established by the Board of Library Commissioners. This agreement shall include certification by each member library that it meets the minimum eligibility requirements for participation, agrees to participate in interlibrary loan activities within the Commonwealth in accordance with the National Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States and agrees to provide data on the use of regional and statewide library materials and services.
  2. Every public library shall automatically be a member of a regional library system.

7.03 Statewide Advisory Council on Cooperative Library Programs

  1. The Statewide Advisory Council on Cooperative Library Programs (MGL, c. 78, § 19M) shall consist of the President and Regional Administrator of each of the regional library systems, the Director of the Board of Library Commissioners, and such additional members as may be appointed by the Board. The Board's staff liaisons to the regional library systems shall serve as ex officio members of the Council.
605 CMR 7.00: M.G.L. c. 78 § 19
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Page last updated on 09/14/2007