The MBLC Welcomes Ruth Urell


August 23, 2016
Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

After an extensive search, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is happy to welcome Ruth Urell to the role of Head of Library Advisory and Development. Ms. Urell will be working with library trustees and friends, and will assist in administering Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) grants and programs.

"I have enormous respect for the people who work to improve library services, and I look forward to using and expanding my great relationships within the Massachusetts library community as we work to develop library services for the 21st century," Ms. Urell said.

Ms. Urell's library experience spans across the Commonwealth. After serving in various roles at libraries in West Springfield, Northampton, Deerfield, and Hadley, Ms. Urell became the director at the Jacob Edwards Library in Southbridge from 2001 to 2005. Most recently, she served as director of the Reading Public Library for eleven years. As director, she helped oversee the construction of a new building that will help transform the way the library interacts with its patrons and the services it is able to provide to the town.

Ms. Urell has also been a tireless advocate for libraries throughout her career. She has served as President of the Massachusetts Library Association (MLA), and is currently the Massachusetts Chapter Councilor to the American Library Association (ALA). In addition, Ms. Urell served as President of the Central Massachusetts Library System Executive Board, was part of the MBLC Executive Director Search Committee, and presently sits on the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) Personnel Committee.

Her experience as a director also puts her in a unique position of understanding of the grants and programs provided by the MBLC. "I have applied for and managed LSTA and other grants, and I have experience with libraries that have various governance and financial models," Ms. Urell said. "Each library in the Commonwealth is unique, and I am prepared to help all of them in any way that I can."

Ms. Urell graduated from Binghamton University with a B.A. in English, and also holds a Masters of Library Science degree from SUNY Albany. In addition, she has completed graduate coursework at the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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.