DATE: May 11, 2012
MBLC "Exemplary" in Evaluations
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) recently underwent two separate evaluations that took an in-depth look at the agency’s strategic direction and the way in which the MBLC uses federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding.
Library Consultants Himmel & Wilson examined the MBLC’s implementation of federal LSTA funding as laid out in the Massachusetts’ 2008 – 2012 LSTA Plan. The consultants highly praised the MBLC’s program in their final report.
“The evaluators have been involved in more than a score of five-year LSTA
evaluations for states throughout the United States. We can honestly report that Massachusetts’ 2008 – 2012 implementation of the LSTA Grants to States program
is the most effective program we have seen in regard to addressing ALL six of the
LSTA Grants to States Priorities in a substantive way. We believe that Massachusetts’
program is an exemplary one and that a further examination of their program would
yield additional insights that would be valuable for other state library agencies.”
The evaluation was part of the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) LSTA Grants to States program. The MBLC was evaluated on the goals it set forth in its 2008-2012 LSTA Plan and the extent to which the MBLC goals align with IMLS LSTA Grants to States Priorities. Evaluators found the MBLC met or surpassed all six of its LSTA goals as well as successfully addressing all six of the LSTA Grants to States Priorities. The evaluators found that [MBLC] “efforts in all areas are well-designed and executed.”
" In a state characterized by extremes (urban and rural, diverse and homogeneous,
etc.), MBLC has done a remarkable job of balancing its efforts to meet the needs of
all Bay State residents."
In a separate independent look at services offered to public libraries by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, The Parthenon Group, finds in part that,
“MBLC has put together well-articulated priorities that effectively communicate
the strategic purposes of agency initiatives [and] compared to other states, agency
services are highly utilized.”
The Parthenon Group study was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of its ongoing commitment to U.S. libraries and to building the effectiveness and capacity of state library agencies.
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.