News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
Web Site: mass.gov/mblc

News Release



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 16, 2004
CONTACT: David L. Gray
Director, Communications & Public Information
1-800-952-7403, x208
David.L.Gray@state.ma.us

Institute of Museum and Library Services Awards $3.4 Million to Support Library Service in Massachusetts

Washington, DC-The federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), today announced FY2004 grants totaling $157,628,000 to state library agencies in the 50 States, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will receive $3,385,475 that will be administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

"The network of libraries across Massachusetts does an outstanding job providing important outreach and access to learning. They are crucial links to literacy in neighborhoods in all corners of the state," said U. S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy. "These federal funds will allow them to continue their important role complementing schools and other community resources in enriching the lives of all of our citizens."

The grants are awarded under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and are made to each State according to a population-based formula, with the States providing at least $1 for every $2 of federal support.

"The Board of Library Commissioners uses LSTA funds to sustain library resource sharing networks and to encourage individual libraries to develop new services that meet the needs of their varied clientele. Grants are used as seed money for projects that have a strong likelihood of continuing with local funding," said Robert C. Maier, Director of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

Highlights of how the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners uses these funds to benefit the residents of Massachusetts include:

Mansfield Public Library - Mother Goose Asks "Why?"
This project provided a series of hand-on science inquiry story hour sessions for families where literacy was low. An average of ten children and their parents came for each session, reaching a total of 537 people. Participants reported doing "scientific" things, such as cooking, gardening and nature hikes. Others talked about how they had begun to incorporate science into their ordinary conversations. These conversations increased positive interactions between parents and children to enhance language development.

Central Massachusetts Regional Library System - YSLead
The Central Massachusetts Regional Library System, along with youth services consultants from the five other regional library systems in Massachusetts, worked to support librarians in the youth services field to serve as mentors to other library staff serving young people. YSLead sponsored a youth services leadership institute where 60 leaders from school and public libraries across the state came together for two and a half days of training in leadership and mentoring.

Athol High School - School Library Incentive
The Athol High School Library implemented a U.S. History Project, with social studies targeted for the application of information literacy skills. Working cooperatively with the school's social studies teachers and the public library, the librarian was able to purchase materials and ensure that they would be integrated into the teachers' lesson plans. All lessons included an information literacy instructional component taught by the librarian, who provided handouts that covered strategies for acquiring and evaluating both print and electronic resources and examples of how to write entries for a "works cited" page.

Northeastern University Libraries - Serving People with Disabilities
In the first year of this two year project, the library used the MBLC process "Planning for Library Services for People with Disabilities". It purchased adaptive equipment, developed public relations strategies to attract people with disabilities to the library and provided extensive staff training in the use of the new equipment. The library provided a variety of equipment designed to help users with disabilities to have better access to library services and materials.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is an independent federal grant-making agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners. The Institute fosters leadership, innovation, and a lifetime of learning by supporting the nation's 15,000 museums and 122,000 libraries. The Institute also encourages partnerships to expand the educational benefit of libraries and museums. To learn more about the Institute, please log onto: http://www.imls.gov/.

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.

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This Web site, and other programs of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, is funded in part with funds from the
Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership and a lifetime of learning.
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