ABC News’ Jaclyn Lee reports on libraries being on the frontlines of the increasing homelessness crisis across the U.S. and how librarians are learning techniques to help. Watch this amazing news story
A couple years ago, Forbes Library received a $10,000 donation from a donor who wanted to remain anonymous but also wanted the money used for a very specific purpose: to broaden the Northampton library’s permanent art collection. The library donor — the person lives in the area, according to Downing — told Forbes officials that the library “ideally should reflect the more diverse community we have today, as it’s a community space itself, and we agree,” Downing said.
SHEFFIELD — For those who can’t go into the woods without help, Sheffield has a solution. With a state grant, the town bought a “GRIT Freedom Chair” that can be borrowed from the Bushnell-Sage Library’s “Library of Things” by those from any city or town with a CW Mars system library card.
The club is the brainchild of Sawyer Free Library Children’s Librarian Marisa Hall, who has been looking to expand the library’s STEM offerings. The club will meet one Friday a month after school starting Friday and running through May. Hall hopes to connect kids to opportunities they may not be aware of in Gloucester. “This project connects them to a sense of ‘place’ by using our own community’s physical resources and social connections to introduce them to new and innovative STEM concepts and topics,” Hall said in a prepared statement.
(Patch) Melrose’s long-awaited library renovation project recently took a step forward with the signing of a contract to begin the project’s construction phase, Mayor Paul Brodeur announced on Wednesday. Following uncertainty over potential cost increases in recent months, Brodeur confirmed that the cost of the city’s contract with the Massachusetts-based Castagna Construction Corporation is roughly 12% higher than estimates available when the City Council approved the project last year. The city has adjusted, though, with officials saying this week that a combination of state, federal and Library Trustees money has allowed the project to proceed without a need for new city bond funding.
Can you imagine not having access to the internet? For most, the internet is more than just a way to read news or go on social media. It can be essential for education, work and even health care. With a grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, libraries have been able to bolster their programs for mobile hotspots, allowing more library patrons to “borrow the internet.”
Gloucester’s Sawyer Free Library is closing in on a decades-long goal of updating and increasing the size of its facility with help from new state funding. The state Board of Library Commissioners announced July 7 it is providing Gloucester $9 million for the library’s $28 million renovation and expansion plan. The grant would grow by $316,052 if the project meets green building standards.
The Massachusetts Center for the Book has announced the winners of the annual Letters About Literature (LAL) program, a reading and writing initiative that invites students from Grades 4 to 12 to write letters to authors about the books that have had profound effects on them. The student honorees were celebrated in a virtual awards event on May 25.
As one of the most robust LAL programs in the country, the Center receives thousands of letters from all corners of the Commonwealth each year. The fifteen Top Honor and Honors students collectively represent the top 1.5% of this year’s submissions to the 22nd annual program in Massachusetts.
Representative Natalie M. Higgins welcomed the honored students, families and teachers in attendance. “Congratulations to the 2022 Letters About Literature honorees for showing us how books moved and delighted them, expanding their personal and world views,” Higgins stated. “Let’s all celebrate our love of books and reading!”
Sharon Shaloo, Executive Director of Mass Center for the Book, underscored Representative Higgins’ tribute, noting the remarkable personal letters submitted to the 2022 program. “This event celebrates one of the first programs we established when we were founded in 2000,” Shaloo noted. “In addition to the strength of the writing it always prompts, the students’ reflections reassure us that the young people in our commonwealth will be articulate and thoughtful contributors to life in Massachusetts and beyond.”
Commonwealth judges in the 2022 program were Patrick Borezo, Director of Hadley Public Library; Meena Jain, Director of Ashland Public Library and Chair of Programming for Massachusetts Library Association; and Martha Pott, Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University and member of the Board of Directors of Massachusetts Center for the Book.
The Top Honors and Honors writers in Massachusetts Letters About Literature 2021
Level 1 (Grades 4-6):
Top Honor: Asma Al Ashabi of Hopkinton, a 6th grader at Al-Hamra Academy of Shrewsbury, for her letter to Pam Muñoz Ryan about Esperanza Rising
Honors: Aliasgar Mufaddal Bhagat of Reading (A.W. Coolidge Middle School); Annabelle Butler of Arlington (Lexington Montessori School); Jasiri Cash of Hyde Park (Wellesley Middle School); Sasha Gardella of Marblehead (Village School)
Level 2 (Grades 7 and 8):
Top Honor: Daniel Ng of Arlington, an 8th grader at Lesley Ellis School, for his letter to Gene Luen Yang about American Born Chinese
Honors: Anna Grace Goodman of Newton (Newton Country Day School); Eliana Gunn of Wilbraham (Wilbraham Middle School); Jojo Jané-Leonardis of Watertown (Newton Country Day School); Karolina Robles-Maurer of Wilbraham (Wilbraham Middle School)
Level 3 (Grades 9-12):
Top Honor: Felicity Zhang of Concord, a 9th grader at Concord-Carlisle High School, for her letter to Gene Luen Yang about American Born Chinese
Honors: Dilara Bahadir of Lexington; Kasey Corra of West Roxbury (Montrose School); Zaynab Khemmich of Attleboro (Al-Noor Academy); Jemella Pierson-Freedman of Berlin
The Massachusetts Center for the Book, chartered as the Commonwealth Affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, is a public-private partnership charged with developing, supporting and promoting cultural programming that advances the cause of books and reading and enhances the outreach potential of Massachusetts public libraries.
During the Fall of 2021, over 250 librarians from academic, public, school, state, and VA libraries who had experience in providing services and programs that serve veterans met during the Libraries and Veterans National Forum. The purpose of this meeting was to help libraries learn how to better serve their local military communities.
Now, as part of this project, a toolkit is available to Massachusetts librarians that provides tools and resources to bring the findings of the forum statewide. Sharon Public Library Director Lee Ann Amend has been involved with the project since the beginning and has been crucial in making these resources available to all librarians in the state.
“The Libraries and Veterans National Forum was begun with a desire to serve the veteran and military communities,” says Amend. “The toolkit provides librarians with a list of lesson plans, exhibit ideas, program outlines, collection development ideas, tips and best practices, and much more.”
The toolkit is now available on the MBLC website as a free resource for any library looking to do outreach or programming for veterans, active military, and their families.