Scholarships Help Small Libraries


May 20, 2020
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) and Massachusetts Library System (MLS) are pleased to announce recipients of the scholarships to attend the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) annual conference in Wichita, Kansas, September 30-October 3, 2020.  “Librarians from small communities face unique challenges. The opportunity to attend a conference geared specifically toward the needs of small libraries is a great benefit to these librarians as well as the communities they serve,” said Lyndsay Forbes, Project Manager and Grants Specialist at the MBLC.

The recipients are as follows: 

Beverly Bullock, Director, Meekins Library in Williamsburg

Nicole Daviau, Director, Porter Memorial Library in Blandford

Jessie McKinney, Children’s Librarian, Raynham Public Library

Jessica O’Connor, Director, West Falmouth Library

Sheila Parks, Director, Lanesborough Public Library

Misha Storm, Library Assistant, Greenfield Public Library

Recipients were chosen based on how attendance would help their local libraries and communities as well as how they would use their ARSL experience to form part of the planning committee for the 2021 Massachusetts Small Library Forum. “The information and resources that these recipients will bring back and share is invaluable and will benefit small libraries across the Commonwealth,” said Kristi Chadwick, MLS Consultant.

Each year ARSL develops a unique conference for library staff from rural and small communities designed with the understanding that practicality, professional development and networking are essential parts of success. The $1500 scholarships cover one year of ARSL membership, conference fee, hotel or lodgings, transportation and a per diem for meals.

The ARSL scholarships are made possible with federal funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), as administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners with additional administrative support from Massachusetts Library System.

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.