DATE: February 14, 2014
Governor Reappoints Commissioners Cluggish and Shesko
Commissioner Mary Ann Cluggish and Board Secretary Greg Shesko have been reappointed by Governor Deval Patrick to five-year terms on the nine-member Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). The Board is one of the most active and engaged in recent history with Commissioners from across the state participating in and leading advocacy efforts, supporting innovation in libraries and statewide services, and working to expand access to library services for all Massachusetts residents.
Commissioner Cluggish and Secretary Shesko both serve on the MBLC Construction Team to provide support to the highly successful Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP). During the fall of 2013, communities in Westwood, Millis, East Boston, Foxborough, Granby, and Holyoke completed library projects as part of the MPLCP. Athol also recently celebrated the opening of its renovated and expanded library. Commissioner Cluggish calls new libraries "game changers" and says that new libraries rejuvenate downtowns, become the de facto community center, and create a sense of fellowship in a way that only libraries can offer.
Commissioner Cluggish, who also serves on the MBLC Legislative Committee, and Secretary Shesko have both been strong advocates for House Bill 3690 which will provide funding to the nine libraries currently on the MPLCP waiting list and will allow the Board to fund a new planning and design grant round. In January, the MBLC received 28 applications from libraries seeking planning and design grants.
In addition to his role as Secretary of the MBLC, Commissioner Shesko serves on the Statewide Resource Sharing Committee which played an integral role in the Statewide eBook Pilot Program recently launched by the Massachusetts Library System in partnership with the MBLC. He is also the liaison to the Massachusetts School Library Association. The MBLC endorsed Senate Bill 1906 which addresses the need for more equitable school library services and creates a Special Commission on School Library Services in the Commonwealth.
A resident of Needham, Commissioner Shesko co-chaired the Renew Our Library campaign which successfully secured $15.7 million to build Needham's new library. In 2005, he was named Outstanding Trustee by the Massachusetts Library Trustee Association; he has served as a Trustee of the Needham Free Public Library since 1994. Mr. Shesko was the founding vice president and subsequent president of the Massachusetts Friends of Libraries. He has also served as president of the Friends of Needham Free Public Library where he led two successful override campaigns to increase library funding. His colleagues on the MBLC Board call Secretary Shesko "insightful" and appreciate his ability to analyze an issue from many different perspectives, a skill that has been useful in addressing such varied matters as state aid, fiscal challenges, and innovative ways to support library services.
Commissioner Cluggish is an active resident of Wellesley and has served on several local boards and committees. She served as a Trustee of the Wellesley Free Library for twelve years and was instrumental in garnering community support for the library building project which resulted in a new $14 million main library. Professionally, Commissioner Cluggish worked nationally and internationally as a sales and marketing consultant to high technology companies. She brings these skills to bear as a member of the MBLC's statewide Public Relations Advisory Committee. She was instrumental in focusing the MBLC's FY2015 Legislative Agenda on the need for increased technology funding for libraries.
Learn more about the current members of the MBLC.
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.