News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

DATE: December 17, 2012
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

Shelley Quezada named as Global Libraries Delegate

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is pleased to announce that Shelley Quezada, Consultant for the Underserved, has been selected to attend 2013 BMGF (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) Global Libraries Peer Learning Meeting. After a nationwide application process, she is just one of three state agency representatives to be honored with this opportunity.

“Shelley’s work has touched so many people not only in Massachusetts, but nationally and internationally as well. Improving literacy for our most vulnerable populations has been her life’s passion and we’re proud and fortunate to have her at the MBLC”, said Robert C. Maier, MBLC Director.

The BMGF’s Global Libraries is working to provide access to resources that can change lives. According to the BMGF, in today’s digital age, quick and easy access to information and knowledge can transform the lives of individuals and strengthen communities. Yet, approximately 5 billion people—almost 90 percent of the world’s population—do not have access to computers connected to the Internet.

The Global Libraries Peer Learning Meeting will be held in Cape Town, South Africa in the spring of 2013. Ms. Quezada will attend as delegate representative of COSLA (Chief Officers of State Library Agencies) and will be participating in forum discussions with other librarians from around the world.

In her over 20 years at the MBLC, Ms.Quezada has been responsible for creating many pathways to literacy for disabled individuals, new Americans, the incarcerated, the homeless, the illiterate, and the very young. “Literacy is the best way to improve someone’s life,” said Quezada. “For the very young, it’s a vital foundation for future learning; for the disabled, it’s a connection that creates possibility; for those in prison it’s an avenue to change. It’s fundamental to who we are and what we are able to achieve.”

In her role at the MBLC, Ms. Quezada has developed some of the most successful federal grant opportunities for libraries. On the Same Page programs in which entire communities read and discuss the same book, Mother Goose on the Loose which uses music and movement to teach early literacy and Conversation Circles which helps new Americans learn English are among the many programs Ms. Quezada has brought to Massachusetts libraries and residents.

Ms. Quezada also works with libraries so that they are better able to provide library services for disabled residents.  With her guidance over 130 public libraries are using adaptive technologies to better serve individuals with disabilities. Ms Quezada is also a professor at Simmons College of Library Science where she teaches courses on literacy and library services for the underserved and children’s literacy. Her international efforts to improve literacy include projects in Africa, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico.

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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