MBLC Service Update 6-24-2020

MBLC Service Update                                                                              
June 24, 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.

State Aid- Reopening survey
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.


Social Law Libraries and the MBLC

Contact: Paul Kissman

Kate Butler


The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Social Law Library will host a legal reference update webinar on July 7th at 3pm.

Just as COVID-19 has change the way that libraries deliver services, it has also affected the Massachusetts Court System and the legal support network for Massachusetts residents.  This webinar will bring you up to date on how to help your patrons find answers to their legal questions when walk-in service to the trial court law libraries and court service centers may be limited.

Though the webinar is primarily aimed at public libraries, all types of libraries are welcome.


Preservation and Disaster Recovery

Contact: Evan Knight


Important IMLS Research Update: Virus Undetectable on Five Highly Circulated Library Materials After Three Days

How long does the virus persist on library materials? The first round of highly anticipated research informing that question has been published by REALM Project, testing the following: (1) Hardback book cover (buckram cloth), (2) Softback book cover, (3) Plain paper pages inside a closed book, (4) Plastic book covering (biaxially oriented polyester film), (5) DVD case. “Results show that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was not detectable on the materials after three days of quarantine. The evaluation demonstrates that standard office temperature and relative humidity conditions typically achievable by any air-conditioned office space provide an environment that allows for the natural attenuation of SARS-CoV-2 present on these common materials after three days of quarantine.” For more information and to download the PDF report visit https://www.webjunction.org/news/webjunction/test1-results.html. See IMLS’ Press Release on this important report: https://www.imls.gov/news/research-shows-virus-undetectable-five-highly-circulated-library-materials-after-three-days.

REGISTRATION OPEN – MBLC/MLS Virtual special collections symposium for smaller libraries

July 23, 9am-12pm

Local public memory collections provide important, unique, and sustainable opportunities to interpret a community’s contemporary experiences as they change over time. Yet there are many challenges in building, preserving, and sharing these collections, especially among smaller libraries. Renowned experts in the book trade, academic libraries, and library special collections will convene for a morning symposium of sharing and dialogue about these topics, tailored specifically for library workers, librarians, archivists, and collections volunteers with various levels of experience, and from collections of all sizes. Co-hosted by the Massachusetts Library System. Register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3232501920889757710

Opening Speaker – Ken Gloss, Proprietor of Brattle Book Shop and Antiques Roadshow contributor

PANEL –Academic Special Collections perspectives

Lisa Conathan, Ph.D. – Head of Special Collections, Williams Libraries

Mike Kelly – Head, Archives & Special Collections, Amherst College

PANEL –Special Collections Management Case Studies

Cyndi Harbeson – Head of Special Collections, The Jones Library, Inc.

Sara Trotta – Librarian, Congregational Library & Archives



Construction-The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP)
  Lauren Stara
Andrea Bunker

The MBLC was notified this morning that the cap for MPLCP will remain at $20 million for FY2021. The FY2021 Capital Plan is a maintenance plan for the Commonwealth, primarily due to COVID-19 related obligations. Most lines are level-funding for the coming fiscal year.  Although, the MBLC had been seeking an increase in the cap from $20 million to $25 million, in these difficult times, the agency is grateful to Governor Baker for continuing to fund the construction program.

New Episode of “Building Literacy” Podcast

On this episode of Building Literacy: Public Library Construction, two former Library Building Specialists with our program, Patience Jackson and Rosemary Waltos, offer their words of wisdom from a collective 50 years of experience working on library building projects through both the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program and independent consulting services. From their top three, or twelve, pieces of advice for library directors and designers to their favorite design mistakes, Patience and Roe share what they wish everyone knew before embarking on a building project. You can listen to the episode here.


Promotion/Summer Library Program
Contact: Celeste Bruno
Matthew Perry
               Rachel Masse

Statewide Summer Challenge
More than 65 libraries have registered for the summer challenge. Materials for the challenge will be mailed to libraries next week. You can register for the Summer Challenge here.

State Aid To Public Libraries

Liz. Babbit
Uechi Ng
Mary Rose Quinn

ARIS Workshops
Watch the ARIS Workshop
(recorded last week)
On Zoom
On ARIS page|MBLC website
Remaining ARIS(Annual Report Information Survey) workshops are listed below.  Sessions are via Zoom and 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 is through the MBLC Calendar

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 close on October 2nd. Municipalities applying for a waiver of the FY2021 MAR will have until November 6th to complete additional paperwork.
: 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.

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