Windsor and Phillipston Receive Grant to join CW MARS


May 07, 2021
Matthew Perry
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x240

During the May 6, 2021 board meeting, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) approved a Joining Networks grant which allows the Windsor Free Public Library, Windsor, and the Phillips Free Public Library, Phillipston, to join the CW MARS network. This grant provides for network first year joining fee and offsets the first year’s annual assessment.

“Membership in a resource sharing network is absolutely essential for a public library to provide full equitable services to its community,” said MBLC Library Information Systems Specialist Paul Kissman. “As we get ever closer to that elusive goal of having every public library in a network, it continues to amaze me that libraries in even the smallest towns, with extremely limited staffing and budgets, find the wherewithal to join a network. We’re glad we can help get them over that threshold.”

The Joining Networks grant opportunity allows public libraries to join an automated resource sharing network for the first time. This grant was last awarded in April 2020 which allowed the Taylor Memorial Library in Hancock to join CW MARS.

After the first year in the network, small libraries then receive assistance through the Small Libraries in Networks grant funded through state budget line item 7000-9506, Technology and Resource sharing. Six networks receive Small Libraries in Networks grants to offset the membership costs for 143 libraries across the Commonwealth.

Network membership benefits libraries in numerous ways including access to cataloging, eContent, and technical support that is much greater than what any one library can afford on its own. In addition, network membership allows library patrons access to materials from across the network and across the state, greatly expanding a library’s catalog beyond what is available in its building.

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.