Former MBLC Chair Frank Murphy Passes Away


November 20, 2019
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners is mourning the loss of its former Chair Francis R. (Frank) Murphy. “Frank’s leadership shepherded the MBLC through some challenging years. He will be remembered by us all as a person of integrity, vision, and kindness,” said current Board Chair Roland Ochsenbein.

Appointed by Governor Deval Patrick in 2007, he served on the Commission until 2018 including a two-year term as Board Chair. At the time of his appointment Murphy said, “From boyhood through college, I spent a lot of time in libraries for pleasure and assignments.  During my working life, it was pleasure and projects.  Now, its pleasure and payback—to try to help all those open libraries and dedicated professional library people.” He spent over a decade doing just that.

As an MBLC Commissioner he served on the Resource Sharing Committee which made recommendations that led to the first statewide effort to share eBooks across the Commonwealth. This effort was one of the first of its kind in the nation. He was also on the State Aid Review Committee and helped develop changes that strengthen the State Aid program and encourage more communities to fully fund their public libraries. He was a forceful advocate for public libraries, often speaking at the state house and at legislative events about the importance of libraries and advocating for funding for the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program which resulted in a $150 million bond bill for the program.

Murphy was an Information System/Network consultant to NATO and MITRE before retiring and beginning his volunteer work with libraries.  He became a Robbins Library (Arlington) Friends Board member and in 2001 was appointed to the Robbins Board of Trustees where he served a term as Chairman. In addition, Murphy served as a Board member of the Massachusetts Library Trustees Association.

Visiting hours will be this Friday, November 22, from 5:00-8:00 p.m., at Keefe Funeral Home at 5 Chestnut Street in Arlington. A funeral will be held at the same location on Saturday, November 23, at 9:00 a.m., followed by a funeral mass at St. Agnes Church, 32 Medford Street in Arlington at 10:00 a.m.

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.