July 16, 2002
Director, Communications & Public Information
Commissioners Elect New Officers
BOSTON - The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners elected new officers on Thursday, July 11, 2002, to serve for FY2003.
Elected Chairman was Joseph S. Hopkins of Amherst; elected Vice Chairman was John E. Arnold of Westborough, and elected Secretary was Dr. Em Claire Knowles of Medford.
"We and the library community face difficult times ahead," says Hopkins. "Our country is in economic turmoil; and our state and its cities and towns are experiencing significant limitations in their ability to maintain valued public services. It is also a time when the availability and delivery of reliable information and knowledge is essential for our wellbeing and security. It is a matter of public trust," he continued. "Our libraries will continue to fulfill that role: a daunting task."
First appointed as a Commissioner by Governor Paul Cellucci in 1998, Hopkins served as library director in Worcester, Watertown and Meadville, Pennsylvania. He has also served as president of the Massachusetts Library Association, and is a member of the American Library Association, Massachusetts Library Association and New England Library Association.
Arnold is serving his second term on the Board having been appointed a Commissioner by Governor William Weld in 1994. A former library trustee, he served as a delegate to the 1991 White House Conference on Library and Information Services, and is currently serving as co-chair of the Search Committee for a new Director for the Board of Library Commissioners.
Dr. Knowles recently was named a Commissioner by Acting Governor Jane Swift last year, and is the current Assistant Dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College. She also serves on a number of other boards including the American Library Association, Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Massachusetts Black Librarians' Network, Massachusetts Library Association and the New England Library Association.
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.