DATE: March 14, 2013
MBLC Increases Technology Funding
At its March 7, 2013 monthly board meeting, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners approved $75,000 in federal Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA) funding to support statewide technology projects.
Evergreen Performance ImprovementsDuring 2011 and 2012, three Massachusetts automated resource sharing networks: Central/Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing (C/W MARS), Merrimack Valley Library Consortium (MVLC), and North of Boston Library Exchange (NOBLE), migrated to the Evergreen open source library system platform. Evergreen provides mission-critical library functions such as public access, circulation, cataloging, and patron reserves.
With the help of a 33-month $412,000 LSTA grant awarded in FY2010, the three networks began coordinating their efforts under the aegis of the Massachusetts Library Network Cooperative (MassLNC). However, difficulties with the software libraries use to access the Evergreen System have led to slow response time for some circulation activities, creating customer service issues. The MBLC approved $50,000 to assist the three networks in resolving these difficulties.
In July, 2012, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) awarded a two-year, $821,320 grant to Fenway Libraries Online (FLO) to implement a new statewide virtual catalog, replacing the 12-year old system currently in place. After an extensive procurement process led by FLO and MBLC, the ShareIt™ system, from Auto-Graphics, Inc. was selected as the new solution.
A critical component of the new virtual catalog is tight integration between ShareIt and each local library system. Staff workload is reduced, and better information and status updates are provided to the library patron. The preferred method of integration is through the NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (NCIP), a standard promulgated by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) In order to maximize these benefits, complementary NCIP software components, that “talk to” ShareIt, are required at each participating library system.
At the March 6, 2013 Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners meeting, the Board made available $25,000 in LSTA funds to help some of the 15 participating library systems implement NCIP software on their local systems.
About federal funding in Massachusetts
Federal LSTA funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services benefits all ages and education levels in communities across the Commonwealth. The MBLC uses LSTA funding to provide direct grants to libraries that allow them to offer the services that meet the needs of local residents. The MBLC also uses this federal funding to provide statewide services, resources and programs such as databases, summer reading, and grants to support small library participation in networks.
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.