Best Practice for Trustees: Open Meeting Law

By Rob Favini, Head of Library Advisory and Development at the MBLC

The Open Meeting Law generates a lot of questions from trustees across the state. The most frequently asked is, “does this law apply to me?” The short answer is, yes! Public libraries in Massachusetts must adhere to open meeting laws. For corporation or association libraries that receiving ANY amount of municipal funding, following open meeting law is a basic best practice.

Below are links to resources available from Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. We recommend that all trustees review these materials to learn how the law applies to posting meetings, taking meeting minutes, executive sessions, and the use of email and social media.

Open Meeting Law
Public bodies, which generally include public library trustee boards, are required to comply with the Open Meeting Law (MGL ch. 30A, sec. 18-25), as enforced by the state Attorney General’s office. As noted in the AG’s Open Meeting Law Guide, “The purpose of the Open Meeting Law is to ensure transparency in the deliberations on which public policy is based. Because the democratic process depends on the public having knowledge about the considerations underlying governmental action, the Open Meeting Law requires, with some exceptions, that meetings of public bodies be open to the public.”

All library trustees should be familiar with the Open Meeting Law, which mandates meeting notices be posted prior to meetings of public boards, requires records or “minutes” of meetings to be kept, and delineates certain instances in which portions of meetings may be closed to the public. The Attorney General’s office has some helpful resources on their website, including the extremely useful Open Meeting Law Guide. Questions concerning the Open Meeting Law should be directed to the local Town Clerk or the Attorney General’s Division of Open Government (http://www.mass.gov/ago/government-resources/open-meeting-law).

Certain library boards, such as boards of some association libraries that are not municipal departments, may not be considered public bodies under the Open Meeting Law. If such a board is uncertain of whether it must comply with Open Meeting Law, the board should contact the Attorney General’s office directly for a determination. Some association/corporation libraries may be required to follow Open Meeting Law under agreement with the municipality that they serve. It is strongly recommended that all library boards follow the tenets of the Open Meeting Law, even if they are not required to by law. A board that practices openness and transparency will be better able to maintain a good relationship with the municipality and seek support from its community

Information regarding Open Meeting Law can be found on page 41 of the Massachusetts Public Library Trustee Handbook.

Have a question relating to your board? Contact Maura Deedy (maura.deedy@mass.gov) or Rob Favini (robert.favini@state.ma.us)

Please join us at the MBLC’s Trustee Institute, April 27th! For information and registration: https://mblc.libcal.com/event/5158107?hs=a

Weymouth library groundbreaking ‘signifies era of vibrancy’

A new $33 million Tufts Library will provide patrons with dozens of computers, reliable wireless internet capabilities, additional book volumes, CDs and DVDs when it is completed in 15 months.

“We are going from a tight children’s room to one that is two-and-a-half times the size,” said Robert MacLean, Weymouth Public Libraries director during a groundbreaking ceremony March 27. “It will include a story time and craft rooms, study rooms, and a nursery room. There is so much more to come.”

Continue reading from Wicked Local Weymouth

Sawyer Free Library digitizing Gloucester’s early records

It’s hard to imagine that early community leaders — busy compiling, say, the Gloucester Town and Selectman Records starting in 1642 — could have imagined residents accessing those records from a lit screen in their homes nearly 400 years later.

Continue reading at the Gloucester Daily Times Website

Library Valentines are a Powerful Message to Legislators

We’ve compiled the results from the third annual #LibraryLovers campaign. What’s the #1 thing residents’ love about their libraries?
The librarians! Nearly every one of the 3,000 valentines that were submitted this year mentioned how much librarians and are valued. They literally used the following words: “LOVE our librarians, “helpful”, “patient,” “friendly,”  “knowledgeable,” and “not shushers.” They mentioned librarians by name and really liked that the librarians knew them by name, too.

The valentines represent what we often say to legislators about why libraries are important; but there’s a difference between our saying it and hearing directly from residents who are impacted. It’s simply more powerful.  In the 3 years that we’ve done the #LibraryLovers campaign, the MBLC has given legislators nearly 15,000 valentines because, as one resident said, we “can’t imagine a community without a library” either.

We skim through them and are really moved by the emotional connection people have to their library. Some make us laugh and others pull at our heartstrings. Here’s a few of our favorite lines from the online valentines:

The library makes all my dreams come true, well pretty much all

I can't imagine a community without a library.

I love my library because they have the resources I need for life, the entertainment I need to relax, and the people who make it special
…i also like it cause of there free wifi. If i have no connection at home i could just go to the library so i dont have to stay after school.

 

I love that our library offers the tools that makes our community an equal opportunity place

-… they always have activities.I did one of the activities and it was awesome I made new friends and I learned new stuff.
For a small community, our library has a very large footprint.  Thank you.

It’s a pretty cool place to be

no matter how much money you have if there's a book you wan't and it's in the library you don't have to buy it you can just check it out

-[from a teenager] I love my library because I feel at home there.

 

Not everyone can afford books off the shelf and the library helps give the community an equal opportunity to information and knowledge.
Several of our librarians have become our friends, having seen my children and their love of reading grow over the years. Thank you for everything!
I would be lost without this library.  Between the staff and the books  this is such a gift!

…our library is a place to not only share books but share our community spirit with one another

 

… I also enjoy spending time in a completely commercial free community space.

 

For us, the library is essential for our success as homeschoolers.

Libraries deserve top funding for providing education and culture, museum passes, advice, friendship, services, and so much more to the town.
…everyone has treated me with respect and kindness, making me feel that my concern at that moment is the only thing that matters
-I love the feeling of belonging I get walking through the doors. It's my sons favorite place.

Librarians have always spoken directly to him [my son], even when he was four, and that made him feel valued.  
-I am proud of our town library and know that I will enjoy utilizing it for the rest of my life.

 

Diversity of opportunities, enthusiasm and helpfulness of library staff, feeling of being welcomed every time I visit library, library’s constant effort to address needs of the community ( I. E. Flu lecture )

 

I love my library! I have an emotional attachment to it. If you take the library away.... You take away a very important part of the social fabric of society

 

I brought my kids to this library. It's where they hooked their reading skills and are excellent readers today as well as life long Learners

 

Our library provides the critical service of keeping the public informed, educated, providing access to information that is a must in this day and age
If you ever want peace to do homework the library is for you.

THE answer center for questions about everything and anything; taxes to truffles.

 

I am so glad I live in a town with such a good library.  

 

Please keep funding and supporting the town library system it is one of the very best things about our town
We cannot afford cable and the number of DVDs that are available through inter-library loan in phenomenal!!
-Whenever i'm feeling bored my parents let me go to the library where i have an absolutely epic time listening to and reading stories
The cookbook bookclubs give me the opportunity to meet and enjoy other members of my community that I otherwise would not have the opportunity to do so.
Getting essentially any book in the world through inter-library loan!

-Not only can I borrow books but I can also receive tutorials on how to use my iPhone, iPad and laptop.  And all of these services are for free
The library is a community center where I can go to educational meetings about local issues, historical events or world affairs.  
 I remember one time i got to read to a dog and that was the best day ever.

 

this library means every thing to me please save it.

I love how I  get to pick any book I want and I also get to see my sister sometimes

No member of society, from the youngest to the oldest, is neglected there; libraries contain treasures for all.
As a senior citizen, nahant Library is a HAVEN of happiness, intellectual growth , and exploration.
I am new to America and I never read books before. I always ask confused questions to the librarians. They always never give up on me and they recommended new and easy books to improve myself in reading. Now I read novels and I love them

 

The MA library system is one of the few barrier free institutions in the Commonwealth…

My life would be greatly impoverished without my library visits and the excellent help and guidance I get there.

 

-My library opens a window to that world which would be shut to me without it.

 

Simply put, it’s home.  Ever since I was a child, the library has been a second home to me.  No matter what else was happening, I always had my books
-It is imperative that we keep community libraries open and that we better their internet access and technology which all MA citizens will need to move forward into the 21st century

 

[My kids are] always begging to read books and to go to the library and I attribute their love of books to the library's engaging programs.

 

Basically----I love my Library and am extremely satisfied.  I even like that they have a bin in the lobby to drop off cat & dog food and I am now trying to make a small donation of food every week/every other week.  I figure if I can check out books for free then I can make a donation that goes to a great cause!

 

Made me feel welcome the second I walked in and answered every question I asked them.

 

Being a low income single mom, the library has been a safe haven happy place for my children and I. The feeling of calmness of the library is what draws us. My library offers many free programs for my girls one of our favorites is story time, painting/art, and reading with therapy dogs
We would be diminished and impoverished without them and anybody who says otherwise is in a word woefully uninformed & perhaps obtuse.  However a visit or two to their local library could rectify that
Our library hosts school study evenings for high school students before mid-terms and final exams - includes pizza (imagine that in a Library!)

 

Certainly, I do not believe that I would be as worldly or open-minded as I am now without the vital support of the library, and all the services it provides to me and the community

Best Practice for Trustees: Town and City Charters

By Rob Favini, Head of Library Advisory and Development at the MBLC

The laws that establish the authority and role of library trustees can be found in the Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 78. It is important to know that in some instances, state laws governing Libraries and trustees are superseded by local laws found in town and city charters. Trustees should be aware of all established and proposed local laws that pertain to the organization and management of their library. Today’s Trustee Handbook Focus looks at local charters and how they impact libraries.

TOWN AND CITY CHARTERS and HOME RULE PETITIONS

Some Massachusetts municipalities are governed by special legislation or a charter, components of which may or may not relate directly to the library. It is critical for trustees to know if their municipality has such a charter or has plans to implement one, and if so, how its provisions affect their library. While trustees have traditionally looked to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 78 to delineate the rights and responsibilities of trustees to exert “custody and management” over public libraries, a local charter will take precedence over Massachusetts General Laws.

If your community is planning a charter change or adoption, make sure that at least one trustee becomes familiar with the charter reform process, and is informed every step of the way about proposed changes. A proactive board is a well-informed board which serves as a partner in the change process. It is much easier to keep unfortunate changes out of the charter than to try to fix problems after the fact. The following are issues which may not constitute the main thrust of the changes to the charter, but may somehow “sneak” in if trustees don’t pay careful attention:

  • Who will the director report to? In some towns, the town administrator has the authority to appoint department heads. Make sure that the power of the library board is not eroded; in other words, make sure it is spelled out in the charter that the board of trustees governs the library and appoints the director.
  • Will the library be grouped with other town departments for purposes of efficiency? The library could lose its status as a separate department, becoming combined with other departments which do not share common missions or organizational/operational methods.
  • Will all human resource functions be centralized? Under whose control? Trustees should help develop a municipal plan for the transfer of employees between departments. Make sure the library director has responsibility for the hiring, dismissal, and supervision of library personnel.
  • Any charter proposal should contain provisions specifying the duties and powers of the board of trustees. Make sure the board has control of the library’s budget, personnel issues, and policy making authority.
  • Another issue that might be introduced is the number and kind of trustees. Monitor for proposals that would change the way trustees are elected or appointed. Who has the authority to appoint trustees? Will there be ex-officio trustees (those appointed by virtue of their office, i.e. selectmen and clergy) who may change the constitution of the library board?

If your municipality is considering a charter or home rule change, it is imperative for your board to be involved and aware of the seriousness of the issues at stake. If charter reform, home rule petition or other effort is underway to revamp municipal power and decision-making, the library should get involved from the start to advocate for wording which exempts the library from being under the control of another municipal department or officer.

Trustee Tip!
Successful boards of trustees know what’s happening in their communities and are active players in the local political process. Remember that it is your responsibility as a trustee to advocate for the best possible library services and practices. Library boards that stay active and involved in community affairs yearround are better positioned to make their case for the library than boards that wait until “crunch time” to get involved.

Today’s Trustee Handbook Focus can be found on pages 39 – 41 of the Massachusetts Public Library Trustee Handbook.

For more information about all services and resources available to trustees please visit the MBLC Trustee page (https://mblc.state.ma.us/for/trustees.php).

Have a question relating to your board? Contact Maura Deedy (maura.deedy@mass.gov) or Rob Favini (robert.favini@state.ma.us)

Please join us at the MBLC’s Trustee Institute, April 27th! For information and registration: https://mblc.libcal.com/event/5158107?hs=a

The 2019 PJ Drive was a Record Smashing Success!

By MBLC Communications Director Celeste Bruno

As MBLC staff member Rachel Masse said throughout the PJ Drive, “These libraries are killing it!” No truer words were ever spoken!

Not only did libraries hit their goal of 10,000 PJs, libraries beat the goal for the entire drive (all organizations from the entire state)  of 12,000! Libraries collected 13,022 A new record of 138 registered for the drive–thank you to all the libraries that participated—even if your library collected 2 pairs, they make a huge difference to the kids who receive them.

Results of the major rivalries

Bourne vs. Norwood
Champion by 782 pairs: Bourne

Blackstone Valley Competition (Sutton, Whitinsville, Blackstone, Simon Fairfield, Millbury, Uxbridge, and Upton)                                    Champion by just 8 pairs!:  Whitinsville; Uxbridge Free Public Library will deliver breakfast to  Whitinsville

MBLC vs. MLS
Champion by 45 pairs: MLS; MBLC will deliver the PJ cup to MLS filled with chocolate.

Statewide Results (each will receive 5 tickets to a Bruins game)
#1 at 3,320 pairs of PJs is the  Jonathan Bourne Public Library
#2 at 2,538 pairs of PJs is the Morrill Memorial Library in Norwood
#3 at 742 pairs of PJs is Liam Fitzgerald (learn more about Liam)

Winners of the 12 Days of PJs Prizes (random raffle, given out during the drive)
Team-signed Bruins Hockey Stick:
Salisbury Public Library
Great Barrington Public Library
Beverly Public Library (Main)

Player-signed Jersey:
Billerica Public Library (Brad Marchand)
Westborough Public Library (Tuukka Rask)
Whitinsville Library in Northbridge (David Krecji)

Team-signed Jersey:
Silver Lake Regional High School
Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield
Nashoba Regional High School

Signed photo:
Ventress Memorial in Marshfield (Patrice Bergeron)
Hazen Memorial Library in Shirley (Pasternak)
Beaman Memorial in West Boylston (Charlie McAvoy)

Library news from across the state
January 2019

327 Receive State Aid Awards;17 Request Waivers
At its January Board Meeting, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners certified twenty-two additional municipalities meeting all FY2019 requirements for the State Aid to Public Libraries Program.  In total, 327 libraries have met all state aid requirements and have been awarded $4,247,669.12 in state funding.
Commissioners also considered waivers of the Municipal Appropriations Requirement (MAR) for seventeen applicants. This is the lowest number of MAR waiver applicants since 2008 and well the below the 2011 high of 123 waiver applications.
More

Support for Summer Grants Awarded
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the first Support for Summer grants totaling $50,000 to 54 public libraries. Research shows that summer learning helps close the achievement gap between lower-income students and their middle-and upper-income peers and is a key factor in academic achievement.  Two types of grants were awarded in this pilot:  Summer Learning Expanded and Online Reading Program
More

$204K paid for rare, auctioned penny; proceeds will go to Pittsfield library
A rare copper penny that a late Pittsfield man found in his lunch money more than 70 years ago has been sold at an auction for more than $200,000, and all proceeds will  go to the city’s public library. Don Lutes Jr., of Pittsfield, was 16 when he found the coin in change he received at his school cafeteria in 1947, according to Heritage Auctions.
More

Stoughton Library Opening Draws Hundreds
“It’s like welcoming a friend that’s been missing.”
That’s how parent and Stoughton resident Erin Gomes described coming to the town’s new library, a building which took 18 months to complete. Apparently, hundreds of people felt the same way. To a crowd of nearly 1,000, the ribbon was cut and the new Stoughton Public Library officially opened on Saturday afternoon. There wasn’t an empty aisle or computer chair in sight.
More
Note: The MBLC supported this project with a $6,875,844 construction grant from the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program. The MBLC is currently seeking a new bond authorization to continue the construction program.

Sunday fun day at the library
Patrons were all over the Quincy library Sunday. People visited to use the public WiFi, work on computers and strengthen their algebra.
Matt Hutton, a Duxbury High School freshman, was taking tips from math tutor Yong Na Huang, a senior at North Quincy High School. Hutton said midterms were coming up and he wanted to go into them strong.
In a quieter corner in the library on the top floor, Jacquelyn Lungelow set up shop on a table with several papers and her laptop.
“I try to come every Sunday,” Lungelow said. “I can’t focus at home. There’s a TV, or a refrigerator.”
More

Marlborough Public Library Foundation is aiming to raise $2-3M for the project
The Marlborough Public Library Foundation is ramping up its efforts to raise between $2 million and 3 million for the library renovation and expansion a week after city councilors approved funding for the project. The City Council signed off on a $23.7 million bond to pay for restoring the more than century-old West Main Street library. Councilors also formally accepted a $10.1 million grant the state Board of Library Commissioners awarded the city over the summer for the project.
More
Note: The MBLC awarded this project a $10,186,626 grant as part of the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program. The MBLC is currently seeking a new bond authorization to continue the construction program.

Council shelves library plan
A decision on a new (Greenfield)  library will have to wait, at least until next month, following a dramatic decision Wednesday to table the City Council vote on the $19.5 million project. The original deadline for the city to match a state $9.4 million grant was Jan. 11, but the library had asked for an extension on Oct. 26 and was granted it on Nov. 1. The extension to April 30 was not discussed at last week’s big public meeting that showed an outpouring of public support, and the strength of a strong and vocal grassroots campaign, but it was reported Wednesday.
More
Note: The MBLC awarded this project a $9,378,183 grant as part of the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program. The MBLC is currently seeking a new bond authorization to continue the construction program.

This Western Mass. Town rejected Comcast and decided to build its own broadband network
The public library here, in a wing of the sturdy brick Town Hall off of Route 2, isn’t necessarily the best spot for quiet study.
It’s one of the few places in this small town nestled in the northwest corner of the state where residents can reliably get high-speed Internet access. So when the library is open — parts of three days a week — patrons are as likely to be immersed in a teleconference or a streaming movie as they are in a good book.
More

Boston Public Library partners with Museum of Fine Arts in new exhibition
The Museum of Fine Arts and the Boston Public Library recently announced a new collaboration, “Toulouse-Lautrec and the Stars of Paris.” The endeavor is part of a greater effort by BPL to showcase the institution’s various collections, prints, and rare books, by making them more available and visible. Throughout June, BPL cardholders will be able to sample MFA membership and participate in programming throughout the library’s 25 branches.
More

Erving Library winner Betters attends Bruins game
Jameson Betters of town, is one of a select group of young people who won a visit to a Boston Bruins game, as a prize for joining the Erving Public Library’s Summer Reading Program. The library participates in the statewide program each year. Betters is shown with Blades, the Bruins’ mascot at Boston Garden.
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Note: Jameson was one of 17 children and teens to win a special prize as part of the MBLC and MLS summer partnership with the Boston Bruins

Weymouth historical reports available online
Historians and residents can now access the town’s annual reports dating back to 1850 over the internet thanks to a collaboration with libraries and museums across the state. Ahead of the town’s 400th anniversary in 2022, the Weymouth Public Libraries had its collection of 167 annual  reports and 25 town meeting warrants digitized for free by the Boston Public Library. The digital records are made available through the Digital Commonwelath, a collaboration between more than 160 institutions, including Weymouth
More

PhotoStory:  Franklin STEM play at library
The first ever Play Stem event designed for grades K-4 took place Tuesday at the Franklin Public Library Tuesday with youth services librarian Mitzi Gousi.
More

Sudbury TV, Goodnow Library team up for a new project
Zoulas, host of the nonprofit’s 30-minute interview program “Global Village”, said the collaboration first came about when he interviewed Library Director Esme Green. He said he hopes to bring more attention to the library’s available resources, calling it “hidden in plain sight.” As part of the partnership, “Global Village” will feature four 30-minute programs over the next year on the services at the library. Possible topics include the second-floor maker space, which houses a 3-D printer and a computer-controlled vinyl cutter, or Robert Carter, the teen librarian, who plans project-based programs for teens. Episodes will be filmed at the library.
More

Acushnet Woman of the Year Dina Brasseur has opened new chapter at Town’s Library
It’s almost impossible to find anyone in town who has anything but wonderful things to say about Acushnet Public Library’s “new” director, Dina Brasseur.
Since she arrived in Acushnet in the spring of 2015 to take on the job of director — and to coordinate the awesome task of relocating all of the library’s collections from the old Russell Memorial Library to new quarters on Middle Road — folks have been saying good things about the new head of the library.
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Marion Woman of the Year: ‘Quiet librarian’ has given generously
Marguerite “Peggy” Repass has long had a special place in her heart for the Elizabeth Taber Library.
Before retiring, she served as the library’s director and now the 98-year-old and her family are spearheading the creation of the library’s Marguerite K. Repass Garden and Entrance, which will feature a new wheelchair ramp, automatic doors and stone benches for outside reading.
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Time to Book: North Adams Library director to retire next year
After nearly five years at the helm of the North Adams Public Library, director Mindy Hackner is retiring. “I think she means a tremendous amount to the city and the library — she’s been a good leader in her time there,” (Mayor)Bernard said. “She is a strong advocate for the library, for her staff, for the trustees and for the needs of the building.”
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Hopkinton’s children’s librarian Denise Kofron retiring at end of month
Every time 11-year-old Jackson Hinchliffe comes to the library, he gives children’s librarian Denise Kofron a hug.
He then asks for recommendations for a good book.
“I don’t remember them all because there’s so many,” he said. “I’ll ask, ‘I need a book to read’ and she just brings me to the shelves and finds a book.”
At the end of the month, Kofron, who goes by “Mrs. K,” will retire after 12 years at the Hopkinton Public Library.
More

Massachusetts fastest growing state in the Northeast
Massachusetts is the fastest growing state in the Northeast — with many of its newest residents coming from other countries.
That’s according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said the numbers show Massachusetts is growing twice as fast as it did in the previous decade.
More

Library Valentines Show Libraries aren’t just Loved, they’re Necessary

Valentines are a way we show how much we care. So why not use them as a way to show how much libraries are loved?  That’s exactly what the MBLC has done.  The MBLC’s 3rd annual Library Lovers campaign provides a way for residents to write valentines to their libraries. The MBLC collects the valentines and delivers them to legislators to help them better understand how much residents value libraries. Last year 4,000 valentines were delivered to Massachusetts legislators. Last year we delivered 4,000 valentines to 121 state legislators.

More important than the quantity of valentines is what residents say. It’s truly heartfelt (pun intended.) It’s not just that they love their helpful librarians (they do, in droves!) or that there’s amazing books, programs and resources. It’s that libraries play a role in residents’ lives that no one or no other institution can.

Have a look at just a few of the thousands we received. Please note: with the exception of Perkins Library at Perkins School for the Blind, all identifying information has been removed:

The Library has been an integral part of my life, for my entire life. I learned how to read in the Children’s Room and wrote my college applications on the computers upstairs. It’s hard not to love the Library’s kind and caring staff, and the love of reading that they share with patrons. Recently, I was able to utilize the Library in a new fashion-- professional research.
The Director of the library helped me with research for a television show I was working on. Despite the fact that I now live in New York, there was no one I’d rather have spoken with; she, along with the rest of the Library staff, are incredibly well-informed, with excellent knowledge of the resources at their fingertips.  I love the Library and
My local library is very small but its benefit to the community is enormous. The library is very important to me. I work from home and am very isolated. Our town is rural, so I don’t get to see a lot of people. The library has been so helpful in getting me out into my community, learning what is going on within it, meeting other residents, and creating a social civic life that I feel fully engaged in.
The library is the only place I’ve always belonged, no matter what.
My library supported me! I emailed them with an idea to start an environmental themed book club, and they helped me brainstorm which books we should choose for the program, took care of all the advertising and scheduling, and now I have this awesome book club to look forward to every month! I get to meet people in my community who care about the same things I do too. As a recent college graduate, finding ways to connect with my community after being away for 4 years is really important to me. I’m so happy I was able to continue learning new things with other like-minded people at my local library!
The Perkins Library has served me throughout my entire life. First as a student at Perkins, and then as a wife mother and homemaker. And the books that were made available to me, and all of the subjects pertaining to the occupation in my life then, were of invaluable help. 
Later on, my work in community theater benefited from the Library's wide selection of helpful material. But, when I became a caregiver to my daughter during her long battle against Glioblastoma brain cancer, the constant flow of books from my beloved library provided me with the information about the disease, escape, and sometimes humor which I needed to get through those impossible twelve years. 
Now, Perkins Library still walks beside me through sleepless nights and empty days, helping me get through my grief. Perkins Library has done what even well-meaning friends could not do and I shall be forever grateful. 
I love you Perkins Library!
Listening to recorded books I've received from the Perkins Talking Book Library it is a lifeline for me, it allows me to be connected to the world, to learn, to be entertained, to feel companionship. It gives meaning and hope for me. Thank you so much.
I love our local Library because it brings our community together. It allows us to meet each other in person and share experiences
My library helps to make my retirement years meaningful.
Perkins Library became part of my life 18 years ago. It's right up there with the air I breathe.
My library opens up my world. It allows me to travel to new places, to meet new people, to cook new foods, and to hear new music all with one little card (and without spending a dime). I am forever grateful for the resources available and the friendly staff that make these experiences possible. This is TRUE LOVE!
Love the opportunities to meet with other teens and play Minecraft! What a great group. Thank you Library.
Dear Library, I loved you but I left you... I want you back! I miss you so much! Here in Maine there’s no SAILS network, no New Release DVD’s, no amazing Juvenile DVD’s, no coupon sharing, no dropping off items at any network library location ...You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone!
Please support our libraries - they are an essential continuing education resource and invaluable to those who do not have access to a computer at home, especially those who are looking for work.
I love the staff and the access to such a wide variety of resources through the consortium. It’s so good to see all these institutions working together. I’ve lived lots of places and no other state or commonwealth does this as well. I was even able to take grad classes in history at Harvard without spending a fortune on books because of interlibrary loans. Please keep them funded!
I love my library because it still can instill a love of reading in children.
Libraries are essential in providing access to digital media that many may not have access to otherwise. They play a critical role in leveling the “digital divide” playing field. Libraries are worthy of our support and worthy of tax payer support.
Our library is more than just a place to borrow materials...it is a hub of our community with a community room that is used every day of the year by over 150 different groups. It is a place where people come together to discuss common interests, meet up with friends, see/hear fabulous authors talk,etc.
…It is also an essential resource for those of us whose work relies on access to accurate and up-to-date information; I use my local library’s services on a weekly basis, including interlibrary loan services, and would be hard-pressed to do my job as effectively without it.

For more information on the Library Lovers campaign, contact Celeste Bruno at the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. To be a part of the campaign, access all materials on the MBLC Awarehouse.

Inspiration at Provincetown Public Library

By Evan Knight, Preservation Specialist at the MBLC

Nan and Amy

I had an inspiring visit to the Provincetown Public Library with Amy Raff, Director, and Nan Cinnater, Lead Librarian. If you visit the Library’s website, you’ll see they consider themselves “a cultural storytelling center,” and I couldn’t agree more. Some of the unique collections that help tell Provincetown’s story include:

  • Beautiful art on the walls: the art is actually part of the town’s collection but the Library beautifully showcases the area’s rich artistic heritage.
  • Historic and beautiful building, right in the center of town.

    The Rose Dorothea replica
  • There’s a half-scale replica of a schooner upstairs! The Rose Dorothea replica, dedicated in 1988, was built by Francis A. “Flyer” Santos and a team of volunteers as a “grand tribute to the fishermen of Provincetown and to New England’s shipbuilding tradition.” (N.B. Did you know that the New Bedford Whaling Museum also has a half-size whaling boat, the Lagoda?)
  • The Josephine C. Del Deo Heritage Archives, containing the records and photographs of Provincetown’s Heritage Museum.
  • Digital collections of Provincetown Newspapers and the ambitious and successful Provincetown History Project.

While in their climate-controlled storage area, I leafed through historic manuscript volumes from the early 1700s that seemed to be good potential candidates for LSTA-supported conservation treatment due to their acute condition issues, research value, and high artefactual value. When the name Peregrine White caught my eye, I was happy to learn from Amy and Nan something new, and thrilling: Peregrine White was born on the Mayflower in Provincetown Harbor in the winter of 1620 – the first English child born in the New World. What a story; what a piece of history.

We talked about other potential next steps to enhance the preservation of their unique collections, particularly the Heritage Museum’s Archives, including the potential for taking a more thorough inventory, rehousing fragile objects, and reformatting A/V materials. LSTA grants can potentially help.

I’ll finish with an inspiring quote I found outside their archives storage room engraved on a bronze sculpture:

Bronze by Romolo Del Deo

“…the process of preservation is never finished; it continues for the patient and the brave to address and resolve in each succeeding generation.”

The Watch at Peaked Hill – Josephine C. Del Deo

Here here.