By Lauren Stara, Library Building Specialist at the MBLC
Public library buildings are civic hubs and as such, they are often designed to serve as enduring symbols of public good. They are opportunities to demonstrate community values in the built environment. The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program focuses on functionality and efficiency of library designs, but it’s a fact that inspiring and beautiful buildings are ones that people want to visit again and again.
The new space configuration and furniture setup pays homage to the design details and charm of the historic 1903 building while also accommodating the needs of present-day patrons. Self-checkout machines, plentiful power outlets, and many options for seating – whether visitors want to read for hours, charge their devices, study, or just relax in front of the window for a moment – allow for customizable, user-centered experiences in the library.
Massachusetts Libraries (libraries.state.ma.us), the online portal for statewide library resources & services first launched in 2007, has been completely redesigned. We wanted to keep it simple and user-friendly while also offering personalized access to catalogs and collections.
Visitors are first prompted to find their local library by entering a zip code, town, or library name. The new site is then customized with access to their home network’s catalog and the Commonwealth Catalog, making it easy to search both locally and throughout the state. It also helps visitors find ebook collections and provides immediate access to online articles. And there’s a new A-Z title list of all research journals, magazines, and newspapers available through our statewide subscription.
In the Your Local Library section, visitors can find out about classes, events, and workshops – such as summer reading and early learning programs, high school equivalency exam prep, and English learning groups – at nearby libraries and literacy centers. The Digital Collections page highlights digital libraries and special online collections, great resources for teachers and students looking to explore history in Massachusetts and beyond.
We’ll be testing the site with users and consistently making adjustments throughout the coming months, so we welcome any and all feedback on the new site! Send your thoughts and comments to email@example.com.
Ah, autumn in New England – the return of students, crisp air, and an overabundance of pumpkin-flavored things. And… lots and lots of library and archives conferences and events!
Here’s just a handful of the upcoming options for professional development, networking, and skill-building around the area.
The New England Assessment in Action Symposium presented by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)/New England Chapter & Massachusetts Library System (MLS) Tuesday, September 13 Assumption College, Worcester, MA “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success is an initiative to help academic librarians build skills in carrying out data-driven assessment projects. Join your New England colleagues who participated and learn how the academic library community might build on its success at the national and regional level.”
Special Library Association (SLA) New England Fall Conference: Building Skills, Creating Value Friday, September 30 Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center “Sessions from SLA members focusing on measuring value, working with stakeholders, and career transitions. Our keynote speaker for the conference is Tracy Z. Maleeff (@LibrarySherpa), the principal of Sherpa Intelligence, a research and social media consulting firm in the Philadelphia area.”
Society of American Archivists (SAA): Privacy and Confidentiality Issues in Digital Archives Thursday, October 13 Hampton Inn Hadley-Amherst (MA)
“This course covers privacy and confidentiality legal issues specific to archives of digital material. You’ll examine the intersection of (and the tension between) privacy/confidentiality, free speech and freedom to research/write, and focus on how electronic records and the digital realm have altered the scene.”
New England Archivists (NEA) Fall 2016 Meeting: Bridging the Gaps Friday, October 14
Yiddish Book Center, Amherst, MA
#NEAfall16 “NEA’s Fall 2016 Meeting will offer inspiring examples of how archivists, associated professionals, and record stakeholders are working to bridge gaps in collection development and accessibility of materials.”