News Release

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

News Release



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 8, 2004
CONTACT: David L. Gray
Director, Communications & Public Information
1-800-952-7403, x208
David.L.Gray@state.ma.us

Governor Proclaims April to be Library Month

Lt. Governor Kerry Healey Speaks to Library Supporters

BOSTON - Lt. Governor Kerry Healey brought greetings from the Governor to librarians, library trustees and friends, at the State House yesterday in helping to kick off Library Legislative Day, sponsored by the Massachusetts Library Association.

"The month of April has been proclaimed Library Month," she said, in reading a Proclamation from Governor Mitt Romney. "Our Commonwealth's public, academic and school libraries provide equity of access to library users no matter their age, income or socioeconomic background, and libraries play a vital role in providing millions of people with the resources they need to live, learn and work in the 21st century," she said.

While budget cuts have hurt library service across the Commonwealth, public library visits reached an all-time high of almost 27 million, with a record-setting 51.8 million items borrowed last year, according to the most recent state survey.

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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