DATE: November 10, 2009
Patience Jackson to be Part-time
Recently Jackson has been working with fellow MBLC Library Building Consultant, Rosemary Waltos, Board Chair George T. Comeau and other MBLC staff to develop changes to the regulations of the current construction program. One proposed change would decrease the requirement for local funding while increasing the amount of state grant awards for single and joint projects--a significant change will that enable more communities to move forward with library projects. The Board is scheduled to consider on the proposed changes at its December meeting.
Jackson will implement the changes as directed by the Board and will also continue to work directly with libraries on their construction projects. The MPLCP will be staffed full-time by Rosemary Waltos who has been with the Board for over one year and has extensive library construction experience both in Massachusetts and in Maine.
Ms Jackson's decision to move to a part-time position comes at a time when the MBLC's budget is stressed by recent budget cuts and funding shortfalls. "We are fortunate that Patience is willing to stay on in a part time capacity and continue to share her considerable expertise with Massachusetts Libraries," said MBLC Director Robert C. Maier.
This shift marks the second change of high-profile Board staff in three months. In September, Deputy Director and Head of Library Development, Nancy Rea voluntarily stepped down from her position. This move also helped the MBLC close a significant shortfall in its state budget appropriation, thereby helping to preserve other critical staff positions.
Ms Jackson began working as a building consultant with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners twenty one years ago when the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program was just getting started. Since then she has overseen 208 successful library building projects and, as MBLC Chair George T. Comeau said at the meeting, "Patience has earned the gratitude of every construction project she ever touched and has the gratitude of this Board as well."
The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program was first funded by a state bond authorization in 1987. Since then 299 grants, totaling over $350 million, have been awarded to 253 cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth. These funds have been used by municipalities to improve public library facilities and services with new library buildings, addition/renovations, special construction projects, and preliminary planning and design activities. For more information about MPLCP please visit: http://mblc.state.ma.us/grants/construction/index.php
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.