MBLC Service Update 4-15-2020

MBLC Service Update
April 15, 2020

As we work together to get through the current reality, the MBLC will provide regular updates on MBLC services and other statewide library issues.  Please let us know if there’s info you’d like us to cover—we’ll include it if we are able. Stay well.

Internet Access: a report from Director Rosie Heidkamp in Wendell, MA
From early morning through late evening the Wendell Library parking lot has a steady stream of 4 to 10 cars with individuals trying to “work remotely” or participate in school assignments. Unfortunately the Library wifi bandwidth has not been enough to meet the demand. Last week our tech guy shifted the bandwidth normally reserved for public computers in the library out to the parking lot wifi. This has helped but more is needed. Today the town is working on establishing a second temporary wifi connection for the public. It’s looking positive but it may take another few weeks before it’s installed.

LSTA (Federal funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services)
Contact: Lyndsay Forbes
Shelley Quezada
Rob Favini
The deadline to apply for the FY21 LSTA direct grant round was April 7. The MBLC was pleased to receive 42 applications totaling close to $500,000.
The State Advisory Council on Libraries (SACL) now begins the review process. This year, the reviews will begin with small virtual groups which will lead up to a full SACL virtual meeting on May 6. SACL makes its recommendations for grant awards to MBLC commissioners at the July monthly board meeting.

Preservation and Disaster Recovery
Contact: Evan Knight
Digital Commonwealth’s 2020 Conference was held on April 7th and was the most attended conference they’ve ever had. Originally scheduled as an in-person event, the Conference Committee, Conference Coordinator, and all the speakers and panelists worked hard to transition the event to a totally virtual conference, which allowed for national and international reach: registrants numbered over 700. The slides from the presenters are available here, with recordings and transcriptions forthcoming: https://digitalcommonwealth.wildapricot.org/2020-Conference


Contact: Celeste Bruno
Matthew Perry
New Video Library
The MBLC is working with First Lady of Massachusetts, Lauren Baker, to build a video library with educational and entertaining videos for kids.
Here’s what’s good about our site:

  • Super easy: if your video is already up somewhere else just email me the link and we’ll add itor if you’re creating a new video you can upload it right from your device to https://www.mavideolibrary.org/upload/
  • Unique URL: the site gives you a unique URL you can post anywhere
  • NO Advertisements
  • Reviewed and transcribed: Each video will be reviewed before it’s posted and it will be professionally transcribed, increasing accessibility.
  • Easy access for residents to more resources.
  • Promotion: The video library will live on the public website, libraries.state.ma.us. This site will be promoted through paid advertising.
  • Ideas for videos include: storytelling, songs, music and movement, science experiments, art projects, and other activities that kids can follow along with. Please keep in mind copyright rules regarding reading published books and choose a public domain story.


State Aid To Public Libraries
Contact: Liz. Babbit
Uechi Ng
Mary Rose Quinn

1) State Aid will be hosting two Q&A sessions via Zoom on Wednesday, April 22 from 10-11 a.m, repeated from 1-2 p.m. The content will be the same at each session and each session is limited to 100 participants.

We plan to go over the emergency preamble to the FY2020/2021 State Aid policies that the Commissioners voted on at their April meeting (hours, materials, MAR, and waivers). That should take about about 15 minutes. Then, we’ll open up the session to questions from the library community about how COVID19 may affect your State Aid application this fall. All discussion will take into account what we know/surmise/guess based on current information about the COVID19 situation.

You can register through the MBLC Calendar and the Zoom meeting information will be sent closer to the event. Register for April 22 10-11am.  Register for April 22 1-2pm.

2) Liz Babbitt continues to update the Public Library Closures/Status Google Docs for both libraries and the public.
Links to the documents:
For Patrons
For Librarians
Changes and updates can be submitted through the LibWizard form


Statewide digital library – libraries.state.ma.us
Contact: Kate Butler (website issues)
Matt Perry (content additions)
New Statewide Calendar for Virtual Library Programs

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners is teaming up with Burbio (https://www.burbio.com)  to create a statewide calendar of virtual library programs. Libraries do not have to take any additional action to have their programs included in the calendar. Burbio automatically harvests almost all public library calendars, and will identify for inclusion programs with the following words in the title: virtual, online, live, Facebook live, remote, zoom, vimeo.
The new calendar will be located on our consumer portal, libraries.state.ma.us, making it easy for residents to find and participate in the educational and entertaining virtual programs that libraries are offering during the coronavirus crisis.  We hope to have it live by the end of the week and will send out the link.


Training, workshops, and conference opportunities
Teen Services: MBLC and MLS staff are working together on a webinar:  Connected Learning (part of the national initiative to transform teen services) on Tuesday April 21st at 11:00am

For small and rural libraries: The MBLC and MLS are providing scholarships for up to six Massachusetts public librarians to attend the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) annual conference in Wichita, Kansas, September 30-October 3, 2020.  Deadline to apply is this Friday, April 17.
More information

Checkout the many trainings and workshops, the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) is offering.

2020 Census
Contact: Maura Deedy
Census update from U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham
The official census tracking map tracks self-response rates from around the country.
Resources are available to help you get the word out.
MBLC LibGuide: https://guides.mblc.state.ma.us/census

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