News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: February 29, 2008
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208
celeste.bruno@state.ma.us


Inspiration at the SEMLS Legislative Breakfast

MBLC Director Robert C. Maier (left) and State Representative Stephen R. Canessa

MBLC Director Robert C. Maier (left) and State Representative Stephen R. Canessa

In his opening remarks at the Southeastern Massachusetts Regional Library System (SEMLS) Legislative Breakfast on February 29, Representative Stephen R. Canessa said that he and a dozen of his colleagues were present to listen and learn. The message from the library community to the legislators was clear: libraries make a difference in people's lives and funding the Commonwealth's libraries needs to be a priority.

Marjorie Murphy who spearheads Cohasset's Paul Pratt Memorial Library outreach services to the elderly shared letters from her clients in which they called the program a "lifeline" with one individual who suffers from Parkinson's disease stating,"I can't hold books well. I rely on the books on CD that Marjorie brings me." Yet another writing, "I'm not lonely anymore."

Marjorie Murphy (left) is known to patrons as the 'Library Angel.' She is pictured here with Jaqueline S. Rafferty, Director of Paul Pratt Memorial Library in Cohasset

Marjorie Murphy (left) is known to patrons as the 'Library Angel.' She is pictured here with Jaqueline S. Rafferty, Director of Paul Pratt Memorial Library in Cohasset

Ashley Cabral (right), with her proud mother, has been a library page in Fall River since 2005.

Ashley Cabral (right), with her proud mother, has been a library page in Fall River since 2005.

Ashley Cabral, a Fall River High School Student said, "Being at the library has caused a major change in me. I'm more confident. My library has influenced me to be more involved in the community." Sean O'Malley who attends Stoughton Library's Monday Night Homework Center stated, "I'm on track now. I'm on the Honor Roll for the first time in years."

Honor Roll student, Jenna Levine, (right) tutors her peers as part of Stoughton Public Library’s Homework Center, a program developed by Sheila OsBorne (center) and attended by Sean O’Malley (left.)

Honor Roll student, Jenna Levine, (right) tutors her peers as part of Stoughton Public Library’s Homework Center, a program developed by Sheila Osborne (center) and attended by Sean O’Malley (left.)

The importance of school libraries was highlighted by Christine Johnson-Staub, a parent-volunteer at Sandwich's Oak Ridge School Library. "School libraries not only teach students the skills they need for academic success, but also for success in life," she stated.

MBLC Vice Chairman George C. Comeau and Commissioner Irving H. Zangwill also from the MBLC.

MBLC Vice Chairman George C. Comeau and Commissioner Irving H. Zangwill also from the MBLC.

The financial burden that libraries have labored under since 2001 was brought to the forefront by the President of the Friends of the Middleborough Library Tanya Trzeciak. "Libraries have been treading water since 2001," she stated. "We don't just need to regain pre 2001 levels, we need to bring them up to realistic levels and we need it now."

Roger and Alicia Boucher are from the Friends of West Bridgewater Public Library which contributed to the event.

Roger and Alicia Boucher are from the Friends of West Bridgewater Public Library which contributed to the event.

 Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) Director Robert C. Maier called the Massachusetts library system a model for other states and countries. "We know how to wring the most services out of the fewest dollars, but we can't wring anymore. We have a huge gap and we need to close that gap."

MBLC Commissioner George C. Comeau called for the group to take action, "We're in this together and we need to bring what we've heard here today to the forefront of our legislature. We need to fight the fight."

Trustee Chair Carlton Hunt and Director Betty Gregg (right) from Bridgewater Public Library are joined by current and former library staff.

Trustee Chair Carlton Hunt and Director Betty Gregg (right) from Bridgewater Public Library are joined by current and former library staff.

Legislators present at the breakfast included Representative Stephen R. Canessa, Representative Louis L. Kafka, Representative Steven J. D'Amico, Representative Elizabeth A. Poirier, Representative Fred Barros, and Representative Susan Williams Gifford. The following legislators were represented by their aides: Senator Joan M. Menard, Senator Brian A. Joyce, Representative Geraldine Creedon, Senator Robert S.Creedon Jr., Representative David L. Flynn, Representative Christine E.Canavan and Representative Robert M. Koczera.  



More Information:

For more information on the MBLC’s Legislative Agenda http://mblc.state.ma.us/mblc/news/releases/pastreleases/2008/nr080108.php
For more information on Public Library Incentive Grant Program visit:
http://mblc.state.ma.us/grants/plf/index.php
For more information on the Public Libraries Construction visit: http://mblc.state.ma.us/grants/construction/index.php
For more information on the Governor’s Bond Bill please visit: http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=pressreleases&agId=Agov3&prModName=gov3pressrelease&prFile=080104_capital_bond_bill.xtml

The schedule for upcoming Legislative Breakfasts is as follows:

DATE TIME PLACE EVENT

Friday,
March 7, 2008

8:00AM

North Adams Public Library

WMRLS
Berkshire Legislative Breakfast

Friday,
March 7, 2008

8:00AM

Haston Free Public Library, North Brookfield

CMRLS Legislative Breakfast

Friday,
March 7, 2008

7:30AM

Hampden Free Public Library

WMRLS Legislative Breakfast

Friday,
March 7, 2008

8:00AM

Samuel S. Pollard Memorial Library, Lowell

NMRLS Legislative Breakfast

Friday,
March 14, 2008

7:30AM

Palmer Public Library

WMRLS Legislative Breakfast

Friday,
March 14, 2008

7:30AM

Chicopee Comprehensive High School

WMRLS Legislative Breakfast

Friday,
March 14, 2008

8:00AM

Belmont Public Library

MMRLS Legislative Breakfast

Friday,
March 14, 2008

8:00AM

Needham Free Public Library

MMRLS Legislative Breakfast

Friday,
March 21, 2008

7:30AM

Jones Library Inc.
Amherst

WMRLS
Legislative Breakfast

About MBLC

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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Page last updated on 04/11/2012