July 27, 2005
Director, Communications & Public Information
Board Elects Officers
BOSTON - The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners elected officers on Thursday, July 7, 2005, to serve for FY2006.
Re-elected Chairman was John E. Arnold of Westborough; re-elected Vice Chairman was Dr. Em Claire Knowles of Medford, and elected Secretary was George T. Comeau, Esq., of Canton.
"Libraries are an important element in the fabric of Massachusetts communities. Behind every public library working to serve its community is a network of libraries supporting each other and cost-effectively sharing information and resources. Even during the hours when a library is closed, there are librarians who can help everyone obtain the reliable information they need to achieve their aspirations. For example, www.MassAnswers.org - an online, around the clock reference service for Massachusetts residents - can help students access library resources after hours to answer homework questions just as easily as it can help a parent or grandparent find library resources to help answer business, parenting, retirement, or medical questions. We are thankful for the support the Board and Massachusetts libraries have received this year from Governor Romney, Lieutenant Governor Healey, and the Legislature that allow Massachusetts libraries to serve the diverse needs of their communities. We encourage everyone in Massachusetts to use their library and discover the many ways libraries can help you."
Arnold was appointed to the Board by Governor William Weld in 1994 after having served as a library trustee in Westborough from 1977 to 1992. Most recently, he was honored by the Association for Library Trustees and Advocates of the American Library Association and added to the ALA/ALTA National Advocacy Honor Roll. Prior to his appointment on the Board, he had worked with the Board as a delegate to the 1991 White House Conference on Library and Information Services and as a member of the State Advisory Council on Libraries. He has degrees in Computer Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Brown University and has worked as a software engineer for companies such as Adobe, Banyan Systems, Bull HN Information Systems and Digital Equipment Corporation. Currently, he is President and Founder of Linkage Systems Corporation and a part-time faculty member at the Rabb School Division of Continuing Studies at Brandeis University.
Commissioner Knowles was first appointed to the Board by Acting-Governor Jane Swift in 2002, and is currently the Assistant Dean for Student Administrative Services at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College in Boston. She currently serves on the Council of the American Library Association and as the Secretary of the Massachusetts Black Librarians Network, as well as serving as a Design Team member of the Leaders of Tomorrow, a mentoring program of the National Black MBA Association. Knowles has a BA from the University of California at Davis, a MLS from the University of California at Berkeley, a MPA from California State University in Sacramento, and a DA from Simmons College.
Commissioner Comeau was appointed to the Board by Governor Mitt Romney in 2004. He is a technology administrator and an adjunct professor at Suffolk University and also maintains a private law practice in Canton. He currently is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Canton Public Library, a member of the Executive Board of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Advisory Board, the Chairman of the advisory board of the Massachusetts Audubon Society Visual Arts Center, a member of the MassAudubon Council and Canton Historical Commission, and the President of the Friends of the Little Red House, Inc., in Canton. He has both a BS and a MPA from Suffolk University, as well as his JD from Suffolk University Law School.
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.