In this months News and Updates:


Leadership & Management Conversations with Simmons University

This fall the Massachusetts Library System partnered with Simmons University to present a series of Leadership & Management Conversations. A Simmons University professor presented a current topic important to libraries and like our Community Chats, there was time to discuss with the presenter and other attendees the successes, challenges, and questions around each topic.

All previously recorded sessions are available on Vimeo in their own showcase: Leadership & Management Conversations with Simmons University. This includes-

  • Motivation and Evaluation: Some Ideas, Practices and Consideration
  • Exploring the Experiences of Underrepresented Students using Academic Libraries
  • Collaboration & Connection in Times of Crisis: How Public Libraries Support Their Communities

We have one more session- Friday, Dec 2 at 1:00 PM
Freedom is Not Neutral: Libraries Leading the Way in the Fight for Intellectual Freedom

Challenges to library materials and services, along with public policies that enable those challenges, are increasing across the country. In this session, we will discuss the library field’s historical support of intellectual freedom and the freedom to read and current ethical and legal implications of that support. We will also talk about how librarians can prepare for challenges and take a leadership role in defending those freedoms.

Presenter Bio – Laura Saunders

Laura Saunders teaches and conducts research in the areas of reference, instruction, information literacy, and intellectual freedom. She has a strong interest in the connections between information literacy and social justice issues, as well as in the impact of mis- and disinformation.
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2023 Summer Library Program

The MLS Summer 2023 guides with all the information you need to start preparing for your next summer library program are now available. Please share this information with any/all staff members who work on your summer library program.

To view the iREAD informational webinar, get the Resource Guide code, and to find your library’s voucher code you will need to visit our password-protected iREAD guide:

For the password contact: Christi Farrar

For general summer library program information and ideas, you can visit our summer guide:

We ask that you have one person at your library be your main Summer contact. They should be the person who is downloading the Resource Guide and finding your library’s voucher code. Please be very careful in copying your code from the guide as each code is unique to each library and can only be used once. If you have problems or questions, please reach out to Christi Farrar at
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Teen Summit

Did you miss this year’s Teen Summit? All the sessions were recorded and have been posted online. This year’s Teen Summit was sponsored by MLS and the state libraries of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

The keynote with author/illustrator Mike Curato is posted here:

And the rest of the sessions are here.

Session descriptions and a link to our virtual tote bag (with handouts and slides) can be found here.

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2022 LSTA ARPA Funding Report

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) awarded the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) a total of $560,000 in Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding during the past federal fiscal year. This funding was used for Commonwealth eBook Collections: the OverDrive K-12 Shared Sora Collection program.

The funding was focused in these areas:

Providing simultaneous use access to curriculum titles & other high interest titles – MLS staff responded to 400+ requests for curriculum titles during a 9-month period from 2021-2022. The “cost per circ” lending model was used aggressively to support these titles and additional simultaneous use titles were also purchased.

Providing on demand access to summer reading titles – Participating schools were asked for their required summer reading lists and the missing titles were purchased. Titles were also made available in the “cost per circ” and simultaneous use formats, when possible, throughout the summer months.

Stabilizing the collection – This service is not immune to external market pressures including inflation, rising costs of publisher lending models, and general inequities that libraries face in the electronic resources landscape, compared to consumers. Titles were purchased in the “perpetual access” model to ensure sustainability of titles when other lending models expire.

This funding was invaluable to the Commonwealth eBook Collections program and MLS is extremely grateful to be able to support K-12 students with meaningful resources as the COVID 19 pandemic and external pressures remain both ongoing and unpredictable. We also thank the librarians at participating schools for promoting this service to students!

The Commonwealth eBook Collections OverDrive K-12 Shared Sora Collection program consists of 550+ K-12 MLS member schools in Massachusetts that share the same collection of titles from OverDrive and access the titles on the Sora platform. The collection contains over 51,000 unique eBooks and audiobooks across a variety of subject areas including juvenile fiction and non-fiction, young adult fiction and non-fiction, manga, comic books and graphic novels, and more. Enrollment in the program is open for member schools! Complete the enrollment form to get a quote and more information:

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