Reverting Back to Step 1, Phase III

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

This week 134 communities in Massachusetts were reported as “high risk” communities by the Department of Public Health. Communities will revert to operations under Step 1 Phase III of the state’s reopening plan after being designated as high risk for three consecutive weeks in the Department of Public Health weekly reports. Reverting back to Step 1 Phase III should have minimal impact on libraries. The most notable change is building capacity being reduced to 40% occupancy. Curbside services are not impacted.

During the fall and winter months it is likely that more communities will revert to Step 1 Phase III due to increased community positivity results. Below are some helpful links and information to help you navigate the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ COVID-19 Updates and Information page.

For a definition of “low risk community” and a list of communities not designated as low risk: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-communities-in-step-1-of-phase-iii-not-designated-lower-risk

For an overview of allowable opening activity under Step 2 Phase III: https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-announces-transition-to-step-ii-of-phase-iii-for-lower-risk

Safety Standards and Checklists for Libraries: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/safety-standards-and-checklist-libraries

How community risk levels are determined: https://massgis.maps.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=9f5b8ae8d0e24a1b98c55f704aaa24f3

The latest community level data reporting and risk designation, including map interface: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/community-level-covid-19-data-reporting

Frequently Asked Questions: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-communities-in-step-1-of-phase-iii-not-designated-lower-risk#frequently-asked-questions-

When does a community revert from Step 2 of Phase III to Step 1 of Phase III?
A community must revert to Step I of Phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan, as outlined in the Governor’s COVID-19 Order #51, when the community is designated in the “red” category for three consecutive weekly Department of Public Health weekly reports.

When a community reverts from Step 2 to Step 1, what date is the reversion effective?
The rule changes go into effect the Monday after the data is posted. For example, if a community is red for the third week and the Department of Public Health posts the data on Thursday, then the rules go into effect on the following Monday.

What changes when a community moves from Step 2 to Step 1 of Phase III?
The following types of businesses are prohibited from operating during Step 1 of Phase III: indoor performance venues, roller skating rinks, trampoline parks, obstacle courses, laser tag and escape rooms.

The following types of businesses must reduce capacity to 40% (currently 50%) when operating during Step 1 of Phase III: driving/flight schools, gyms, libraries, museums, arcades, and lower-contact indoor and outdoor recreation businesses. During Step 1, outdoor gatherings at event venues and in public settings are limited to 50 people.

As always safety considerations for staff and library users are job one. Please remember to contact your local health department when making any decision regarding opening or modifying library building access and any expansion of library services.

Take care and be safe out there!

Update on 11/4/2020 at 3:00pm to clarify that towns were deemed “high risk”.

Special election to be held for book-loving kids

While the adults in their lives head to the polls to choose a president, kids across Massachusetts are being asked to participate in another type of election.

Starting Monday, at www.KidsVoteForBooks.com, young people can choose their favorite books and see if their choices are in the Top 25 when the votes are tallied. Voting is open through Nov. 9.

Read more on Cape Cod Times

Business is booming at Fairhaven, Acushnet libraries

If there’s a service that’s been thriving for municipalities during the pandemic it’s been public libraries.

While internal access to libraries continues to be either very limited or non-existent, use of libraries’ resources, whether physical or digitized, is available and in demand.

Read more on South Coast Today

Project REALM Findings and Their Impact

By Evan Knight, Preservation Specialist at the MBLC

Last week IMLS, OCLC, and their research partner Battelle Labs released updated findings on their library-related research on SARS-CoV-2 through Project REALM. Obviously, these findings can help us to make more informed decisions as many of us ramp up various levels of in-person library services. I’d like to take a few moments to frame their work in the context of larger public safety protocols, summarize their findings so far, and provide links to additional information.

  1. Remember that virus transmission is primarily through the air.^1,2,3 Minimizing risks of virus transmission through materials is obviously a very serious consideration, and one in which the REALM Project is doing great research. Yet any efforts in the continuing development of safe and rigorous approaches materials handling will be lost if we overlook the fundamental importance of minimizing person-to-person interactions and social distancing.
  2. The Commonwealth’s safety protocols provide a reasonable framework to work with.^4   Safety standards for Libraries have been developed by the Commonwealth and can be useful. They were released last month so they’re not new, but if you haven’t considered them yet, they provide a good starting point framework to safety consider issues, with information organized into four topics: social distancing (including mask protocols), enhanced hygiene procedures, staffing & operations policies, and enhanced cleaning & disinfecting.
  3. Project REALM Results and Quarantine for Materials.^5,6,7 Project REALM released three studies and one webinar which provide helpful information as well as new questions; two more studies are planned and findings will be likely released next month. The following table shows the materials tested so far, and the length of time it took until an initial deposit of virus was completely undetectable (below “LOD”) at ‘normal’ room temperature and humidity.^8
REALM Project Testing Summary^9
Material Storage method Number of Days until below LOD
Hardback book cover (buckram cloth) Open air 1
Softback book cover Open air 1
Plastic book covering (biaxially oriented polyester film) Open air 3
Plain paper pages Closed 3
Braille paper pages Closed 4
Glossy paper pages Closed 4
Magazine pages Closed “Trace amounts at 4 days”
Children’s board book pages Closed 4
Archival folders Stacked together 2
DVD case Open air 1
DVD/CD disc Open air 5
Talking book, USB cassettes Open air Over 5
Acrylic display cases/partitions Open air Over 5
Storage bags (flexible low-density polyethylene (LDPE) recycling #4) Open air 5
Storage containers (rigid high-density polyethylene (HDPE), recycling #2) Open air Over 5

It is important to keep in mind that three important questions remain unanswered from REALM testing that impact how to interpret their results:

  • We do not know how much of the virus would be reasonably deposited by an infected person. Does the amount used in the REALM tests reflect an amount that is reasonable in the real world? We don’t know yet.
  • Every virus has a general threshold of ‘viral load’ before exposure results in infection. How many virus particles are necessary to drive a COVID-19 infection, 10 or 10,000? We don’t know yet.
  • Questions about viral load are impacted by the nature of surface transmission. How well does the virus ‘get back out’ from any material when touched; how viable or efficient is the route of potential transmission from surface-to-human?

Over the past several months the MBLC and MLS have been, and will continue to follow quarantining guidance on two fronts in addition to the REALM project:

  • The IMLS in conjunction with the CDC, offering the information that 24 hours for library quarantines for books would be an overly cautious guideline. ^13
  • Specialists in the fields of libraries, archives, and museums focusing on quarantine as a strategy, using REALM data to inform their recommendations. Including The Northeast Document Conservation Center^14 and the National Center for Preservation Technology & Training (a division of the National Park Service/US Dept of Interior)^15 provide two such examples, and both recommend that length of quarantine depends on the material. Note, these guidelines tend to be much more cautious than those from public health officials, though they (and Project REALM’s conclusions from Test 3)^16 suggest that wiping or disinfecting plastics may be a good complementary approach to general materials quarantine.

Now, how might you use all this information to further develop your in-person reopening plans? First, I think it’s important to remember that CDC, OSHA, and Mass DPH don’t focus on quarantine of materials as a primary strategy to stop viral spread. ^10,11,12 Their guidelines for safety tend to strongly emphasize personal hygiene, social distancing, and disinfection of “high-touch” materials (like doorknobs, handrails, etc.).

The MBLC and MLS acknowledge that each library’s mission, staff, and community needs have unique characteristics that make it very difficult to point to one-size-fits-all guidance in any of these areas. With specific regard to quarantining as a strategy, it is particularly difficult because public health expert guidance doesn’t devote as much attention to it as REALM and library/archive/museum specialists, so there are multiple viewpoints, none of which are ‘wrong.’

In the end, questions of quarantine, as with other issues in reopening, rely on your informed judgement, in coordination with your local health officials. Please reach out to us with questions.

Footnotes:

  1. “How COVID-19 Spreads.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html (retrieved 8/25/2020).
  2. “Frequently asked questions about COVID-19.” Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health, https://www.mass.gov/info-details/frequently-asked-questions-about-covid-19 (retrieved 8/25/2020).
  3. “How to Protect Yourself and Others.” CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html (retrieved 8/25/2020).
  4. “Safety Standards and Checklist: Libraries.” Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, https://www.mass.gov/info-details/safety-standards-and-checklist-libraries and https://www.mass.gov/doc/phase-iii-step-1-libraries-checklist/download (retrieved 8/25/2020).
  5. “Reopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Information Hub: A COVID-19 Research Project.” WebJunction, https://www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/COVID-19-research-project.html (retrieved 8/25/2020).
  6. “REALM Project: Happening Now.” WebJunction, https://www.webjunction.org/news/webjunction/realm-happening-now.html (retrieved 8/25/2020).
  7. “REopening Archives, Libraries and Museums: Materials Testing and Resource Overview.” WebJunction, https://www.webjunction.org/events/webjunction/realm-testing-resource-overview.html (retrieved 8/25/2020).
  8. Three important questions remain unanswered from REALM testing each of which impact how to interpret their results: 1. We do not know how much of the virus would be reasonably deposited by an infected person. Does the amount used in the REALM tests reflect an amount that is reasonable in the real world? We don’t know yet. 2. Every virus has a general threshold of ‘viral load’ before exposure results in infection. How many virus particles are necessary to drive a COVID-19 infection, 10 or 10,000? We don’t know yet. 3. Questions about viral load are impacted by the nature of surface transmission. How well does the virus ‘get back out’ from any material when touched; how viable or efficient is the route of potential transmission from surface-to-human?
  9. REALM Project Results. Round 1, https://www.webjunction.org/news/webjunction/test1-results.html. Round 2, https://www.webjunction.org/news/webjunction/test2-results.html. Round 3, https://www.webjunction.org/news/webjunction/test3-results.html. All retrieved 8/25/2020.
  10. “Guidance on Returning to Work.” United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA4045.pdf (retrieved 8/25/2020). Also, https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/.
  11. “What Mail and Parcel Delivery Drivers Need to Know about COVID-19.” CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/mail-parcel-drivers.html (retrieved 8/25/2020).
  12. “Safety Standards and Checklist: Libraries.” Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, https://www.mass.gov/info-details/safety-standards-and-checklist-libraries and https://www.mass.gov/doc/phase-iii-step-1-libraries-checklist/download (retrieved 8/25/2020).
  13. “Mitigating COVID-19 When Managing Paper-Based, Circulating, and Other Types of Collections.” Institute for Museum and Library Services, https://www.imls.gov/webinars/mitigating-covid-19-when-managing-paper-based-circulating-and-other-types-collections (retrieved 8/25/2020).
  14. “Preservation Leaflets: Emergency Management: Disinfecting Books and Other Collections.” Northeast Document Conservation Center, https://www.nedcc.org/free-resources/preservation-leaflets/3.-emergency-management/3.5-disinfecting-books (retrieved 8/25/2020).
  15. “Cultural Resources and COVID-19.” United States Department of Interior, National Parks Service, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, https://www.ncptt.nps.gov/blog/cultural-resources-and-covid-19/ and https://www.ncptt.nps.gov/download/49420/  (retrieved 8/25/2020). Other resources from NCPTT include a series of webinars called “Covid-19 Basics:” “Disinfecting Cultural Resources” (https://www.ncptt.nps.gov/blog/covid-19-basics-disinfecting-cultural-resources/), “Re-Entry to Cultural Sites” (https://www.ncptt.nps.gov/blog/covid-19-basics-re-entry-to-cultural-sites/), and “Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)” (https://www.ncptt.nps.gov/blog/covid-19-basics-personal-protective-equipment-ppe/).
  16. “REALM Project Test 3 Results Available.” WebJunction, https://www.webjunction.org/news/webjunction/test3-results.html (retrieved 8/25/2020).

Disinfectant, Gloves And Quarantined Books: How Massachusetts Libraries Are Coping As They Slowly Reopen

The public library in Franklin has been loaning books for 230 years — the town boasts the first continuous public-lending library in the nation. It was founded in 1790 with a donation of books from Benjamin Franklin. But when the pandemic hit, like all other libraries in the state, the Franklin library closed its doors — leaving patrons like long-time resident Safdar Mahmud eagerly awaiting its return.

“I’m a teacher. … So, for me, libraries are very important,” Mahmud said. “Just to have the distinction of Franklin being one of those historical places — there’s even books in there that were sent by [Benjamin] Franklin, and some of the original books going back to the early 1700s are actually housed in there.”

Read more from WGBH

MBLC Service Update 7-8-2020

MBLC Service Update
July 8, 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.

Re-opening Phase 3
Contact: Rob Favini
Maura Deedy

Phase 3 Step 1 of the state’s reopening guidance began Monday July 6, 2020. What does this mean for libraries? On the “When Can My Business Reopen” page, under libraries, the addition of “Phase 3 open for browsing.”  The safety standards for libraries were updated on July 6, 2020.

MBLC and MLS staff will be seeking additional clarification, specifically around contract tracing, and will review and update our COVID-19 guidance as library specific details of Phase 3 Step 1 are made available. In the meantime we recommend keeping the following in mind as you plan your next service expansion:

  • Opening for browsing as part of Phase 3 step 1 beginning on July 6th is not a mandate or requirement, it is simply allowed if you can meet the established safety requirements.
  • Any expansion of service should be done in coordination with local municipal leaders and health departments.
  • Staff concerns are a top priority: Can staff safety be assured? Do you have enough staff to facilitate expanding building operations?
  • Adequate hygiene protocols must be in place. Welcoming outside visitors exponentially increases cleaning and disinfecting demands.
  • All necessary social distancing measures must be in place. Have directional/distancing markers and needed physical barriers been installed?

The Governor’s Phase 3 announcement signals a significant milestone as we cautiously move to resume services that are vital to our communities. The MBLC and MLS can’t emphasize enough that maintaining staff and visitor safety are key to meet this and all future milestones.

 

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”.

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, July 9, 2020 by Zoom Teleconference Meeting. https://mblc.libcal.com/event/6201495

 

CARES Act Grants
Contact: Lyndsay Forbes
MBLC funds Library Summer Distance Learning

For 2020, a total of 126 received funding from the MBLC to offer the online program. Fifty-six received a Summer Software grant and when IMLS Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding became available, seventy-three more were added.
See which libraries received grants.

Performer’s Directory

Contact: Paul Kissman
Updates to the Performer’s Directory make it easy to find programs that can be delivered virtually.  (https://mblc.state.ma.us/directories/performers).  MBLC staff reached out to performers who added over 350 new programs.

 

Preservation and Disaster Recovery

Contact: Evan Knight

This Friday! Conversation on the Commons – Black Lives Matter protests and history organizations: Partner, collect, change? Description
Registration is full but you may livestream view
Hosted by Mass History Alliance the focus will be discussing and confronting racial justice issues among Massachusetts’ historical collections. For mainly historical societies, house museums, archives, etc. but libraries and library staff are welcome.

 

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

 

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

The Senate passed bond bill  S 2790 that contains funding for the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP). Senator Eric Lesser’s amendment to increase library construction funding to $150 million from $115 million did not pass. The bond bill now goes to Conference Committee to reconcile any difference between Senate and House funding amounts. It will then be voted on separately in the House and Senate before going to the Governor for his signature

The $115 million for the MPLCP will cover the projects on the waitlist.

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

Baker and Blades Statewide Summer Challenge kicks off
In total, 66 libraries from across Massachusetts signed up to participate, each picking their own unique challenge for their community. Bridgewater Public Library’s goal is to get 325 people registered for summer reading, while Blackstone Public Library wants to read 300 books total. Other challenges include minutes read, hours read, and consecutive days of reading. Goals will be tracked from July 1 to August 14. Participating libraries are listed here.


State Aid To Public Libraries

Contact:
Liz. Babbit
Uechi Ng
Mary Rose Quinn
ARIS is open
The Annual Report Information Survey (ARIS) is open. Login information has been sent to all public library directors. Due to COVID19 related library closures, the form is not due until October 2nd, 2020. No printed forms will be accepted this year. Please see instructions for submitting the signature page on the Instructions and Tips document on the ARIS home page

MBLC Service Update 7-1-2020

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.

MBLC FY21 Budget/State Budget to Libraries
Massachusetts begins fiscal 2021 today with a $5.25 billion interim budget. With the FY21 budget not in place, the MBLC (like all state agencies) has been given a one-twelfth budget, which basically means that the agency’s fiscal 2020 budget is divided by 12, so that the agency is operating on a month-to-month budget.

Governor Baker’s $44.6 billion fiscal 2021 budget is in its sixth month under review in the House Ways and Means Committee. Before deciding on how to proceed, Baker and legislative leaders are waiting to see how tax collections perform in the wake of the decision to push the annual tax-filing deadline forward from April 15 to July 15. They are also waiting to see when and whether Congress will pass another major stimulus bill providing additional support to individuals, businesses, and state and local governments struggling due to the pandemic’s impacts.

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, July 9, 2020 by Zoom Teleconference Meeting. https://mblc.libcal.com/event/6201495

Re-opening Phase 3
Contact: Rob Favini
Maura Deedy
We have heard from libraries and patrons about when libraries will be allowed to resume in-library services. We have reached out to Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito’s office with our recommendations for allowing libraries to reopen their spaces to the public. These recommendations included occupancy guidelines for library browsing and computer use. We typically don’t find out ahead of the release of recommendations so we will be monitoring media and other outlets this week and hope they will be included soon.

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.

Libraries and Contact Tracing
Librarians have been concerned with some of the sector specific guidelines that required keeping a log of visitors for contact tracing, such as office spaces. Directors and library staff have reached out to Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) for clarification. MBLC staff communicated these concerns to the Department of Public Health (DPH) and communicated with Privacy Officers about concerns that visitor logs would be a violation of MGL Chapter 78 Section 7 which states “the part of the records of a public library which reveals the identity and intellectual pursuits of a person using such library shall not be a public record”.
More from this blog by Maura Deedy

Handling Patron’s Legal Questions During the Pandemic
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. Register
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. Register

Preservation and Disaster Recovery

Contact: Evan Knight

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

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

The Senate will take up the Construction Bond Bill (now S 2790) this Thursday, July 2. Library Caucus co-chair Senator Eric Lesser has filed amendment #43 on the IT Bond bill to increase library construction funding to $150 million. At $150 million, the construction bond will fund the remaining seventeen libraries on the waitlist and allow the MBLC to begin preparing for the next planning and design and construction grant rounds. Currently, there are 40 plus libraries interested in applying for construction funding in the next round.

History of the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program
This episode of Building Literacy: Public Library Construction delves into the history of the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program, which has been in existence since 1987. Founding Library Building Specialist, Patience Jackson, and former Library Building Specialist, Rosemary Waltos, join MBLC Construction Specialists Lauren Stara and Andrea Bunker to discuss both the impetus and evolution of our unique and robust program.
Listen to podcast

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

Summer
Social media graphics for summer
Summer fairy tale coloring masks—easy print

Database promo
Wellness
DIY
Dogs
Kids Science
Healthy Aging


SACL Openings (State Advisory Council on Libraries)
Contact:
Rob Favini
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners is currently accepting applications to serve on the State Advisory Council on Libraries (SACL). SACL is an advisory group appointed by the Board to involve libraries and library users throughout the Commonwealth in MBLC decisions regarding implementation of LSTA direct grants. As part of this responsibility, SACL members annually review and evaluate grant applications and make funding recommendations to the Board of Library Commissioners. In addition SACL members are sometimes called on to provide feedback on policy and program initiatives beyond LSTA grants.
SACL members serve three year terms and meet twice a year at the MBLC offices, located near Boston’s North Station. Note: for the duration of the current COVID-19 response all SACL meetings are held by video conference.
SACL consists of 16 members with representation from public, academic, school, special, and institution libraries, as well as libraries serving the blind/visually impaired and physically disabled. In addition, five members of the council represent users of all types of libraries.
We are currently accepting applications to fill the following SACL vacancies:

  • 1 Public Library representative serving a population of 50K+
  • 1 Library representative serving traditionally under-represented populations
  • 3 Library users drawn from public, academic, school, special, institution libraries, or libraries serving the blind/visually impaired and physically disabled.

The MBLC values diversity and encourages applicants with diverse experiences including, but not limited to LGBTQ+, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, ethnic and religious diversity from  all geographic regions across the commonwealth.

If you, or someone you know, would like to be considered for a SACL opening please send a current resume and letter outlining qualifications how your perspective will enhance the SACL’s effectiveness to Amy Clayton (amy.clayton@mass.gov). Deadline for application submission is July 31, 2020.

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

ARIS Workshops
Watch the recorded ARIS Workshop
On Zoom

ARIS is OPEN!
The Annual Report Information Survey (ARIS) opens today. Login information was sent to all public library directors last week. Due to COVID19 related library closures, the form is not due until October 2nd, 2020. No printed forms will be accepted this year. Please see instructions for submitting the signature page on the Instructions and Tips document on the ARIS home page

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
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.

 

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.

https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/508382050301455

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)
Contact:
  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

Contact:
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.
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.

MBLC Update 6-18-2020

MBLC Service Update                                                                             
June 18, 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
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.

CARES ACT Grants
Contact: Lyndsay Forbes
The application for Virtual Programming for Distance Learning is due Friday
This grant opportunity is one way the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is using CARES Act funding. Libraries may use Virtual Programming for Distance Learning grants to support increased public access to library virtual programs.   Any library that is a member of MLS can apply. Public libraries must be certified in state aid. These are the only eligibility requirements for this grant. Libraries may apply for funding between $1000-$3500. We anticipate notifying libraries of their award status in early July. Funds must be spent by September 30, 2021.

Construction-The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP)
Contact:  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.

The Senate Bonding Committee reported out favorably the Infrastructure Bond Bill, which includes the funding for the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program. Senate Bonding has referred the Bond Bill to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.  The Bill includes $115 million, the same figure approved in the House. Senator Eric Lesser, the Senate Chair of the Legislative Library Caucus has agreed to file an amendment to increase library construction funding. Swift passage is expected since the Bill includes several capital projects related to COVID 19 assistance.

Given the current crisis and the economic difficulty that many communities are experiencing, the MBLC construction team is discussing how to handle grant awards in FY21.

Friends groups
Contact: Maura Deedy
Join us for our first Friends coffee talk on Monday June 22, at 11:00am. Inspired by ALA’s Friends of the Library and the Future of Booksales webinar, MBLC will host a coffee hour for Friends to discuss the webinar and the future of book sales at their library. You can still join us if you haven’t watched the webinar. We’ll recap and talk about local libraries. Bring your own beverage!
Registration is for MBLC Friends Coffee Talk is open.

LSTA/Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services Funding not through CARES Act
Social infrastructure mini grants: As part of the follow-up to the Opioid Symposium, the MBLC awarded the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Services (MCPHS), a local university that trains health science professionals,  a $1000 social infrastructure mini-grant.  The MCPHS library purchased new LGBTQ resources with the funding and created a useful lib guide to showcase these items. The goal of the guide is to provide students and faculty a starting point for learning and teaching about LGBTQIA+ cultural competencies for healthcare professionals.

Preservation and Disaster Recovery
Contact: Evan Knight
Recording available – Hurricane Risks to Southern New England Webinar
On Tuesday, June 16, Matthew Belk, Lead Forecaster from the National Weather Service (Boston area), provided fascinating insight into hurricanes and hurricane preparedness. Hosted by staff from MBLC, MLS, and COSTEP MA, a statewide network of cultural heritage and emergency management professionals. A recording is now available. here: https://vimeo.com/429703062.

REGISTRATION OPEN – 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. Co-hosted by the Massachusetts Library System. Register

Opening Speaker – Ken Gloss, Proprietor of Brattle Book Shop

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

Statement from Digital Commonwealth Board on Black Lives Matter
The DC Board released a statement available here: https://digitalcommonwealth.wildapricot.org/BLM-Statement

Promotion/Summer Library Program
Contact: Celeste Bruno
Matthew Perry
               Rachel Masse (summer and the Bruins)

Bruins
We’re happy to announce that Massachusetts native, Charlie Coyle is the Bruins player who is featured on all of the summer materials. Please place your order. Items will be shipped directly to you at no cost to your library. Deadline: Monday, June 22.
Hockey will be played during the summer and the Bruins are in first place!

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


State Aid To Public Libraries

Contact: 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
The dates are:
June 24
June 25

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.

MBLC Service Update 6-10-2020

 

MBLC Service Update                                                                              
June 10, 2020

Past Updates
April 1, 2020
April 8, 2020
April 15, 2020
April 22, 2020
April 29, 2020
May 6, 2020
May 13, 2020
May 27, 2020

June 3, 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 Reopening Advisory Board
Contact:
Maura Deedy, Rob Favini (MBLC)
Sarah Sogigian, Terry McQuown (MLS)
Phase 2, Step 1
Governor Baker released Phase 2 Step 1 reopening guidance effective June 8, 2020. In it the state provides safety standards, recommended best practices and checklists for libraries. It is important to emphasize that the Governor’s announcement does not require libraries to open or provide specific services on specific dates. The guidance allows libraries to open and provide services if they meet the state’s safety protocols. Any decision to open should be made on a library-by-library basis in with consultation local municipal leaders. The MBLC recommends that libraries only open when they are able to ensure the safety of their staff and community served.
 
Challenges Massachusetts Libraries Face Resuming Full Services
Last week Rob Favini spoke with WGBH’s Arun Rath on the many challenges facing libraries working to reopen buildings on the way to resuming full services. You can hear the interview on the WGBH In It Together web site here: https://www.wgbh.org/news/local-news/2020/06/03/in-it-together-6-3-2020
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.
CARES ACT Grants
Contact: Lyndsay Forbes
The application for Virtual Programming for Distance Learning is now open! Applications due June 19
This grant opportunity is one way the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is using CARES Act funding. Libraries may use Virtual Programming for Distance Learning grants to support increased public access to library virtual programs.  Programming for all ages should be consideredLibraries are strongly encouraged to work with local museums and local cultural institutions to enhance virtual programming. 
Any library that is a member of MLS can apply. Public libraries must be certified in state aid. These are the only eligibility requirements for this grant. Libraries may apply for funding between $1000-$3500. Applications are due June 19, 2020. We anticipate notifying libraries of their award status in early July. Funds must be spent by September 30, 2021. Grant funds can only pay for costs incurred after a signed contract. We cannot reimburse for earlier expenses.
Contact Lyndsay with any questions.


BEANSTACK through CARES Act
There are currently 127 libraries benefitting from the summer software grant, originally funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services for 56 libraries, and expanded through CARES Act funds to include 71 more libraries.
 
Construction-The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP)
Contact:  Lauren Stara
Andrea Bunker
Chair Ochsenbein  and  Director Lonergan  submitted written testimony for a hearing of the Senate Bonding, Capital Expenditures, and State Assets Committee that was held on June 4, 2020. While the House bill currently includes $115 million for the MPLCP, they asked for the full legislative agenda request of $250 million from the Senate Bonding Committee. The MBLC continues to monitor this bond bill (H4708).
Given the current crisis and the economic difficulty that many communities are experiencing, the MBLC construction team is discussing how to handle grant awards in FY21.
 
 
Ebooks and Audio Books through LEA (Library eBooks and Audiobooks)
Contact: Kate Butler
Visualization of usage from May 2019 through April 2020.

Performers Directory Enhanced to Simplify Finding Virtual Programs
Contact: Paul Kissman
MBLC has just added a new feature to the Performers Directory (https://mblc.state.ma.us/directories/performers).  You can now limit search results to programs that can be delivered virtually.   270 online program opportunities have been added or updated by the performers since we reached out to them last week encouraging them to update their offerings


Preservation and Disaster Recovery
Contact: Evan Knight

REGISTRATION OPEN! Hurricane Risks to Southern New England Webinar, June 16, 10:30am.The hurricane season for the Atlantic coast began on June 1, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted a “busy” hurricane season for 2020. As institutions continue to cope with the complexities of COVID, hurricanes remain existential risks to your collections, institutions, and communities. Join a free virtual presentation by Matthew Belk, a Lead Meteorologist for the National Weather Service, Boston, Tuesday June 16th at 10:30am to learn more about hurricanes and hurricane preparedness in the Commonwealth. Hosted by staff from MBLC, MLS, and COSTEP MA, a statewide network of cultural heritage and emergency management professionals. https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5731831488799787023.
SAVE THE DATE: 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. Registration information and additional symposium information coming next week.
 
Promotion/Summer Library Program
Contact: Celeste Bruno
Matthew Perry
               Rachel Masse (summer and the Bruins)
Bruins
We’re happy to announce that Massachusetts native, Charlie Coyle is the Bruins player who is featured on all of the summer materials. Please place your order. Items will be shipped directly to you at no cost to your library.
Hockey will be played during the summer and the Bruins are in first place!
Promotion
Ads promoting digital resources like Library Ebooks and Audiobooks (LEA) will continue to run through June.



State Aid To Public Libraries

Contact: Liz. Babbit
Uechi Ng
Mary Rose Quinn
ARIS Workshops
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:
June 11
June 16
June 17
June 18
June 24
June 25
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.