He was wearing a hat. Be on the lookout.
you will not believe it
People read books in 2018. From libraries.
something cool happened at a library!
By Evan Knight, MBLC Preservation Specialist
On December 10, 2018, MBLC Library Advisory Specialist Maura Deedy and I visited the Worcester Public Library to discuss their current LSTA preservation grant. While there, we met with Genealogy and Local History Librarian Joy Hennig, Public Services Coordinator Pingshen Chen, and Public Services Supervisor of e-Resources and Periodicals Priya Subramanian.
They pursued the LSTA grant as an opportunity to rehouse a significant portion of books from one of their oldest and most unique collections, the books of WPL founder Dr. John Green. The approximately 8,000 books were given to the library in 1859 and quite literally were the first collections WPL ever had. It was a great visit where we talked about how the project was going, how they are working to make the collection more accessible, and some of the continuing challenges and opportunities involved in longer-term issues like preservation, conservation, and digitization. They are looking forward to opportunities for engaging their community with these collections, online and in person, while also incrementally enhancing their level of preservation. It was a pleasure to get to know them and work together with them on this great project!
After working with WPL, we drove up the road to visit with Babette Gehnrich of the American Antiquarian Society, who graciously toured us around their building for the better part of the afternoon. For those who might not know, AAS was founded in 1812 and is a preeminent collection of early Americana (before 1876). Babette has been a leader in conservation and preservation for thirty years, so it was a treat to see some of her practices for housings and collections storage.
WPL and AAS are fantastic neighbors (they are less than 2 miles from each other!) and their collections are truly important components in the cultural heritage of Worcester. Thanks to them and their great staff for offering MBLC an opportunity to learn more and help support some of their good works.
Andrea Bunker started at the MBLC on December 6 as our new Library Building Specialist. She will be working closely with Lauren Stara to administer the very successful Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program.
Andrea comes to us from Woburn Public Library, where she was Director since 2016. She’s been spending most of her time on the WPL’s addition and renovation, which is slated to reopen in February. Her experience will be especially helpful to libraries planning renovations to historic buildings – the Woburn Public Library is a National Historic Landmark and was the first library designed by HH Richardson, who became well known for public libraries. Prior to Woburn, she participated in a space planning project for the Newburyport Public Library where she served first as the Teen Librarian and then as Senior Librarian for Reference.
She holds an MLIS from the University of Rhode Island and a BA in English and Secondary Education from Northeastern University.
Andrea “looks forward to working with libraries throughout the Commonwealth in creating spaces that foster lifelong learning, assist residents in pursuing their goals, and strengthen connections within communities.”
Please join us in welcoming Andrea to this crucial role!
By Shelley Quezada, Consultant to the Underserved at the MBLC
On October 29, 2018 staff from seven libraries that received FY19 LSTA grants for Mind in the Making: Supporting Play Spaces in Libraries convened for training in the beautiful repurposed Fells Branch of the Wellesley Public Library. In addition to Wellesley, the communities of Bedford, Bourne, Rutland, Shirley, Waltham and Shrewsbury will spend this year expanding opportunities for young children to participate in creative play activities in the library as well as to build, problem solve, think critically and even embrace failure as they become more confident and engaged learners. Under leadership of library director Jamie Jurgensen who applied for a LSTA grant, the library interior features wood replicas of Wellesley’s famous buildings as well as frescos of local flora and fauna that are both a delight to see and touch.
The Fells Branch, first opened in 1858 as a one-room schoolhouse, became a branch library in 1923 but recently has been used as a nursery school. Now, thanks to the generosity of the Wellesley Free Library Foundation and the Wellesley Foundation, the newly painted and refurbished branch opened to the public on November 17.
The LSTA training featured Alli Leake, Director of Education from the Discovery Museum in Acton who maintains a “Play Matters Blog” on the museum website. She invited librarians to engage in a play activity by cooperatively building structures with “found materials” which in this case were paper cups.
Additional support was provided by Jessie Kravette of the Boston Children’s Museum who shared some of the many BCM resources that support the importance of play.
Participating librarians were excited to share some of the many ideas they will be implementing over the course of the coming year as they create interactive play and flexible learning spaces in their own libraries.