Building Equity-Based Summers

Massachusetts is participating in the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant funded project Building Equity-Based Summer (BEBS). BEBS is a national initiative focused on assisting public library staff in gaining the skills necessary to work with systematically marginalized communities. As library summer services are universal across the United States, summer is the perfect opportunity to build equitable practices. Summer can therefore act as a jumping off point for laying a foundation of equity in all library services. MBLC is seeking 5 Massachusetts public libraries to participate in the second year of this three-year initiative.

Through training and codesign, participants will learn to build library staff skills and summer library services that are equitable across a community. The four major themes covered in the learning sessions include:

  • The Why of Summer – an opportunity to examine the purpose of summer services and “why” equity-based summer services are essential.
  • Letting Go of Tradition – a focus on re-imagining the traditional ways in which summer services “have always been done”.
  • Connecting with Community Voices – examining the value of relationship building and power sharing in bringing the voices of systemically marginalized community members to the forefront.
  • Measuring Impact and Success – determine if equity outcomes are reached, by looking beyond the numbers.

Participation in the BEBS initiative will require attendance to approximately eight virtual sessions with other state participants that will run 2 hours each. The sessions will run from September 2023 - December 2023. Session dates and times will be agreed upon by state participants. A monthly virtual community of practice for participants will take place between January 2024 and July 2025. Participants should plan to commit approximately 2-5 hours a month to BEBS work outside of the learning sessions. Each library will receive a $500 stipend for their participation in the learning sessions.

Libraries must submit an interest form by August 4, 2023 to be considered for a spot in this year's BEBS sessions.

Building Equity-Based Summers is supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.

For Massachusetts Residents

For More Information

Lyndsay Forbes, LSTA Coordinator
617-725-1860 x252
857-488-6616 (Mobile)