News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

DATE: September 29, 2009
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

Nancy Rea Honored

MBLC Chair George T. Comeau recognizes Nancy Rea for her outstanding career contributions to libraries in the Commonwealth.

MBLC Chair George T. Comeau recognizes Nancy Rea for her outstanding career contributions to libraries in the Commonwealth.

At its September Board Meeting, The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) honored Nancy Rea with a special commendation for her outstanding work as the agency's Deputy Director and Head of Library Development. In August, Rea voluntarily stepped down from her position. A move which helped the MBLC close a significant shortfall in its state budget appropriation, thereby helping to preserve other critical staff positions. 

MBLC Chairman George Comeau praised Ms. Rea's dedication. "Nancy's choice to step down is a selfless example of leadership and allows the agency to weather the financial storm that is ravaging state and local programs. I am saddened by her departure, as she is one of the finest advocates for local libraries in the Commonwealth." 

MBLC Director Robert C. Maier echoed the Chairman's remarks, "During her three years with the MBLC not only has Nancy directed the LSTA, Construction, Technology, and Preservation programs, but she has also been instrumental in the development of new initiatives such as Spanish Language Outreach, the Library Construction Green Incentive, the statewide web portal and, most recently, the Gates Foundation's Opportunity Online Broadband program. She has been an invaluable asset to the agency and the statewide library community. She will be greatly missed."

Director Maier also announced that MBLC staff unanimously selected Nancy to receive the Commonwealth Citation for Outstanding Performance. This is annual state award is given to an individual who is nominated by his/her peers for exemplary work. One of Ms Rea's co-workers commented, "Nancy's work has brought considerable resources to the commonwealth for the benefit of its residents in a time of national fiscal constraint.  Through her tireless efforts the lives of many of the Commonwealth's most vulnerable residents will be enhanced."

Ms Rea thanked the Board and the MBLC staff and added that she plans to stay involved with libraries. "They are my passion," she said.

Prior to her position at the MBLC, Nancy was the director of the Haverhill Public Library where she was responsible for moving that library from the threat of closure to fiscal stability. During her tenure, the library was the recipient of the 2005 Haverhill Chamber of Commerce Annual Service Award. She worked for over twenty-three years at the Anne Arundel County Public Library in Maryland where she held several positions including staff development coordinator for a staff of more than 200. She continues to serve on the Board of the Friends of Haverhill Public Library.

A graduate of Wheaton College in Norton, Nancy has her M.L.S. from the University of Maryland in College Park. She is a member of the American Library Association and Massachusetts Library Association.

About MBLC

The Board of Library Commissioners ( 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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