The MBLC “Builds a Better World” with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum


May 30, 2017
Matthew Perry
Outreach Coordinator
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The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is pleased to announce a new collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum to celebrate President John F. Kennedy’s 100th birthday as part of the Library’s Centennial Celebration.

“We are very excited to be part of this nationwide celebration that commemorates one of our Nation’s great Statesmen and a proud resident of Massachusetts” said MBLC Director Dianne Carty. “It is appropriate that the theme for summer reading this year is ‘Build a Better World’. Through his actions and words, President Kennedy set an example of building a better world that still resonates to this day.”

“During his life and presidency, John F. Kennedy encouraged people to learn about and explore the world around them,” said James Roth, Acting Director of the JFK Presidential Library and Museum. “We’re proud to partner with Massachusetts libraries to help ‘Build a Better World’ by encouraging readers of all ages to discover new frontiers through reading.”

Together, the MBLC and the JFK Library have created materials for the statewide summer reading program including READ posters featuring then Senator Kennedy reading and of Jacqueline Kennedy reading with daughter Caroline Kennedy, a booklist featuring books recommended by President Kennedy’s mother Rose Kennedy, a booklist of books featured in “book lockers” sent to the first Peace Corps Volunteers in the early 60’s, and a series of ten bookmarks that feature some of President Kennedy’s most inspirational quotes.

In addition to the materials, toolkits were created by the educational staff of the JFK Library to educate and inform library uses of President Kennedy’s life and legacy. Three separate toolkits for children, teens and adults were created and are available for download on the MBLC’s public portal.

Massachusetts has offered statewide online summer reading programs since 2007. Participants register, write book reviews, set goals, and track their progress online. Massachusetts was the first state in the country to offer such a program. On average, 350 libraries offer statewide summer reading each year with over 300,000 children, teens, and adults participating. The Summer Reading Program is made free to all public libraries and residents in the Commonwealth thanks to support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the Massachusetts Library System, and the Boston Bruins.

About the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and John F. Kennedy Library Foundation

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is one of 14 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. It is supported, in part, by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization. The Kennedy Presidential Library and the Kennedy Library Foundation seek to promote, through educational and community programs, a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history, and culture, the process of governing and the importance of public service.

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.