June 29, 2001
Director, Communications & Public Information
Chairman Meets With First Lady Laura Bush
BOSTON: Edward L. Bertorelli of Milford and Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners recently met with First Lady Laura Bush in Cambridge while attending the national conference of Reach Out and Read, a national organization dedicated to reaching children and their families in the earliest years of life with books, stories and language activities.
The First Lady was presented with more than 30 mementos from libraries throughout the Commonwealth that had been gathered specifically for her as the country's "First Librarian." "It was a real honor for me to be able to speak with the First Lady and to give her these wonderful library mementos representing public, academic, school and special libraries throughout our state," said Mr. Bertorelli, who made the presentation.
First Lady Laura Bush in her opening remarks to the Conference said that kids learn two things from being read to as babies: 1) reading and books are important, and 2) babies are important. "Babies, toddlers and preschoolers all across the state have benefited immeasurably from the creative and enthusiastic energies of our children's librarians," continued Mr. Bertorelli. "The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners is proud to encourage and support the activities of these librarians."
The Board of Library Commissioners (mass.gov/mblc) is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.