DATE: October 09, 2009
Friends Share Successes at Annual Conference
Friends from Western MA, (left to right) : Barbara Benedetti, Friends of the Palmer Public Library; Marcia Capuano, Friends of the Agawam Public Library; Carolyn Fitzgerald, presented Creating a Successful Region-wide Friends Group
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) and the Massachusetts Friends of Libraries held Friends Sharing with Friends on Saturday Sept. 26, 2009. This annual conference is an opportunity for Friends of Library groups from across the Commonwealth to meet and share experiences while learning about successful efforts and programs.
MBLC Commissioners Vicki Kaufman and Francis Murphy participated in the conference. Commissioner Murphy addressed the challenging budget scenario for FY2011. The MBLC is facing a 16% budget reduction for FY2011 as compared to a 1.5% budget reduction for FY2010. This severe reduction comes at a time when library usage is at an all time high. Murphy urged attendees to attend a scheduled budget hearing or send their comments to MBLC Director Robert C. Maier (Robert.Maier@state.ma.us ). For more information about the MBLC budget, please see:
Commissioner Kaufman recognized Western Massachusetts Regional Library System’s (WMRLS) Friends group which is sponsoring Book it to the Library Road Race as a fundraiser for the region. For more information on the race please see: http://friends.wmrls.org/2009/
WMRLS also presented Creating a Successful Region-wide Friends Group. Representatives from each of the Friends groups for the Agawam Public Library, the Chicopee Public Library and the Palmer Public Library talked about the one-year-old Pioneer Valley Friends of the Library organization which invites Friends of any library within a 15 mile radius of Springfield to get together to trade information and discuss common problems and solutions.
The Friends of the Wilmington Memorial Library spoke about several successful fundraising efforts. Their Book Store Next Door is an ongoing library book sale with regular hours each week, run by volunteers. They have also developed partnerships with businesses and restaurants under the category Bon Appétit, events which bring in funds to help the library, don't require much time to organize, and appeal to everyone's desire to eat out locally.
Members of Friends groups from across the Commonwealth attended the 6th annual Friends Sharing with Friends Conference. This conference has now become a “must do” event for many Friends members.
The City of Worcester is decorated with colorful banners in honor of the Worcester Public Library which is Celebrating 150 Years. Library events, grants, in-kind donations are all being used to make the anniversary year very special, and a major event to which the Friends of the Worcester Public Library is contributing is also being planned.
This was the 6th consecutive year of the Friends Sharing with Friends Conference, an idea which was originally developed in 2004 by Maureen Killoran, Head of the MBLC Library Advisory and Development Unit. Registrations for the conference have grown each year and this conference has now become a “must do” event for many Friends members. Ms Killoran has already begun planning for the 2010 conference.
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.