DATE: June 08, 2010
Welch Appointed to the Board
Alice M. Welch of Worcester has been appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to serve on the nine-member Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC).
Ms. Welch understands the powerful role libraries have in changing lives and is looking forward to helping more of the Commonwealth's residents access their public libraries, "I never remember not going to the library. Books helped me overcome childhood illness, opened the world to me and brought much pleasure. I'd like to help others experience the many benefits libraries offer," said Welch.
Her early experiences with libraries shaped Ms. Welch's career path. She worked for over twenty years in health libraries including Worcester City Hospital where she was Director of Health Sciences Libraries and most recently as the Director of Library Services for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health where she facilitated access to critical healthcare information for Department of Public Health employees as well other state agencies and patrons from both the public and private sector. Throughout her career, patron needs have been a priority. She developed collections and information to address pressing healthcare needs including a specialized collection of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) materials for veterans, a special project that addressed the informational, educational, and therapeutic issues for patients with a focus on substance abuse, PTSD and AIDS, and materials targeting the needs of patients with disabilities.
A lifelong resident of Massachusetts, Ms. Welch earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Clark University and went on to attain her Master of Library Science from the University of Rhode Island. She is currently the President of the Massachusetts Friends of Public Libraries, a position she has held since 2006. She is also the President of the Friends of the Worcester Public Library.
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.