Cindy Roach Moves On from the MBLC


March 02, 2016
Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

At the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners' (MBLC) February meeting, Commissioners thanked Cindy Roach for her invaluable contributions to statewide library programming which have impacted all residents of the Commonwealth. Ms. Roach had recently announced she would be leaving the MBLC, where she served as Head of Library Advisory and Development and Government Liaison since 2011.

"Your vision and creativity have helped shape services and programs at the Board of Library Commissioners and beyond," said MBLC Director Dianne Carty. "You will be terribly missed."

Throughout the library community, Ms. Roach is well known for her innovative approach to library services. In her role at the MBLC, Ms. Roach continued to innovate, revamping the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) program and working with staff to create new grant opportunities for libraries like STEM/STEAM programming, well ahead of other states.

In 2012, Massachusetts's LSTA program was called "exemplary" by library consultants who, as part of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) LSTA Grants to States program, examined the MBLC's implementation of federal funding.

"We can honestly [say] that Massachusetts's implementation of the LSTA Grants to States program is the most effective program we have seen in regard to addressing all six of the LSTA Grants to States Priorities in a substantive way," IMLS consultants praised the MBLC's program in their final report.

Massachusetts's small libraries often face unique challenges. Working with MBLC staff, Ms. Roach made small libraries one of her priorities. She used a slight state funding increase to the MBLC's budget line 7000-9506 (Technology and Resource Sharing) to help nearly 60 small libraries offset the cost of their membership in one of the nine automated library networks. Some of these libraries became network members for the first time. For the past two years, she has also collaborated with staff from the Massachusetts Library System to host the Small Libraries Forum, a conference dedicated to the unique needs of libraries that serve small communities.

She and MBLC staff also worked with network administrators to develop a new Network Infrastructure Program grant. It provides annual support for the capital and infrastructure costs of the nine networks that form the foundation for library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Network Infrastructure grant - along with the Resource Sharing, Telecommunications for Resource Sharing, and Small Libraries in Networks grants - are the primary methods for providing ongoing state support to library networks.

Ms. Roach also worked closely with library trustees, holding more than 30 orientations attended by over 600 trustees across the state. She and MBLC staff also worked with the Massachusetts Friends of Libraries to hold workshops where attendees picked up new ideas for innovative programming, fundraising, and advocacy at their libraries.

She was recently named as a 2016 inductee to the Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) Hall of Fame and will be inducted during the MLA Gala Dinner at the MLA Annual Conference in May.

Prior to her service at the MBLC, she was instrumental in the formation of both the Cape Libraries Automated Materials Sharing (CLAMS) library network and the Southeastern Massachusetts Regional Library System, where she spent 12 years as regional administrator. She also served as interlibrary loan librarian at Falmouth Public Library and as director at Osterville Free Library.

A Massachusetts native, Ms. Roach received her Master of Library and Information Science from Simmons College. She served on the executive boards of MLA and the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA)*, and continues to be a member of both organizations. She is also a member of the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA)* and the New England Library Association (NELA).

* National divisions of the American Library Association.

About MBLC

The Board of Library Commissioners ( is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.