MBLC Service Update
May 27, 2020
As we work together to get through the current reality, the MBLC will provide regular updates on MBLC services and other statewide 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.
Contact: Maura Deedy, Rob Favini (MBLC)
Sarah Sogigian, Terry McQuown (MLS)
The MBLC and MLS worked together to develop guidance to assist libraries as they begin the process of re-opening. The guidance was based on listening sessions that were held in coordination with the nine automated library networks.
Library-specific Re-opening guidance and tools
Baker-Polito Administration’s Reopening Massachusetts Report
State Aid- Reopening survey
Contact: Liz Babbitt
In light of the Governor’s phased re-opening plan, please update the COVID19 reopening survey via the new LibWizard form This will be shared with the library community in a Google spreadsheet titled “COVID19: Re-opening Public Libraries Survey”.
We understand that COVID19 will continue to be a serious threat to public health and that your plans may change as the situation evolves so we will NOT be creating a version of this survey for the public UNTIL libraries have started opening.
You can still update the original COVID19 Closure form via this LibWizard link: https://mblc.libwizard.com/f/covid-19 . I’ll continue to update that Google sheet for the next few weeks.
Library Re-opening News
Public Libraries Begin Reopening In Massachusetts With Curbside Pickup CBS Boston
Is it safe to go back to my libray? Boston Magazine
Area libraries outline gradual reopening amid pandemic Worcester Telegram and Gazette
MBLC Monthly Board Meetings
Contact: Rachel Masse
The regular monthly business meeting of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners is scheduled for 10:00 A.M. on Thursday, June 4, 2020 by Zoom Videoconference Meeting. https://mblc.libcal.com/event/6201492
CARES ACT Grants
Contact: Lyndsay Forbes
The MBLC is happy to announce the CARES ACT grants for online reading software (Beanstack), virtual programming, and mental health. The grants were developed in collaboration with Christi Farrar and April Mazza from MLS and were based heavily on the needs expressed during their weekly virtual check-ins with hundreds of librarians.
Here’s all the info.
Please note: The deadline to apply for Beanstack grants is May 29 so that the MBLC can turn contracts around as fast as possible (thank you Maryellen at the MBLC) and libraries can have the software in time for summer programs.
Contact: Tracey Dimant
The Business Office has continued to communicate with Administration and Finance, House Ways and Means, and Senate Ways and Means staff regarding any updated information on the FY2021 budget as well as the Construction Bond Bill; processed contract for the Beanstack Summer Reading grants, renewed contracts for vendors providing services that support the Commonwealth Catalog (Fenway Libraries Online), communications and marketing (Buyer Advertising Inc.), and MBLC’s web and database server support (Beacon Technologies). Continued to process funding requests from affiliates and invoices from vendors, as well as handling daily operations.
Construction-The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP)
Contact: Lauren Stara
Bond Bill News
The IT Bond bill (which contains the funding for the Massachusetts Construction Program) passed through House on May 20. House leadership worked a Consolidated Amendment to handle the 189 or so amendments that had been filed. Leadership also approved bonding for the library construction of $115million, not the $150million as sought in the amendment put forth by Rep. Higgins and Rep Murray. The bill now needs approval from the Senate.
MBLC construction consultants estimate that $115 million will be enough to get through the construction waitlist. The MBLC is exploring whether the bond amount for the construction program can be increased to $150 million for the Senate vote. This would allow the MBLC to start a new grant cycle.
Contact: Rachel Masse
Tomorrow, Cradles to Crayons is heading to the warehouses to pick up the PJs that have been there since March.
As a reminder, if you still have PJs please do not put them into delivery yet. If possible donate them locally. If you can’t donate locally, please hold them for 2 weeks after delivery opens up again. If you have questions about which warehouse you should send your pajamas to please contact Rachel. Contact her as well with estimates of your totals. Thanks!
Promotion/Summer Library Program
Contact: Celeste Bruno
Rachel Masse (summer and the Bruins)
New! Share your story—two ways to share:
From the Heart
Even during the pandemic, Massachusetts libraries are finding creative ways to step up and support their communities and residents. The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) and the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) invite libraries to share their “From the Heart” stories here. They will be visible on the public From the Heart website and MBLC and MLS will share them broadly
Library Idea Share
Serving your community in the current environment can be challenging! Let us know what you’re doing and how it’s going; what’s worked well and not-so-well. Email Kelly Jo Woodside and we’ll share it here. Your stories and tips will help your colleagues across the state as we all move through the phases of re-opening.
Summer Posters and Bruins materials
Your CSLP orders are at the printers, we estimate that you should receive them in 2 weeks.
Ordering for Bruins posters and materials will open first week of June. Look for an email from Matt.
Bruins Prize winners for Summer 2020
see the list
The First Lady of the Commonwealth and Blades Reading Challenge provides an opportunity for libraries that have had to cancel summer plans to be a part of a statewide initiative. The library community sets a goal and once it’s reached they are entered into a drawing to win even more Bruins prizes to be awarded late in the summer. Register and order materials
State Aid To Public Libraries
Contact: Liz. Babbit
Mary Rose Quinn
State Aid will be hosting eight ARIS (Annual Report Information Survey) workshops online in June via Zoom. All sessions will take place from 10:00 am -12:30 pm. We’ve added half an hour to each session to allow for additional questions you may have. Registration will be through the MBLC Calendar
The dates are:
Reporting Deadlines for FY2021:
ARIS will open as usual on July 1st but the deadline will be extended until October 2nd to allow libraries and networks more time to gather statistics. The Financial Report and State Aid Compliance Application will open August 7th as scheduled and also close on October 2nd. Municipalities applying for a waiver of the FY2021 MAR will have until November 6th to complete additional paperwork.
PLEASE NOTE: All dates are based on current information we have about COVID19 and the Governor’s State of Emergency. We will reassess deadlines if necessary but they will not be earlier than stated above.