In this months news and updates:

Massachusetts Library Organizations Stand with Librarians Against Censorship and Intolerance

Book challenges in Massachusetts’ school and public libraries have quadrupled in just one year*, mirroring the surge the American Library Association has reported nationwide. Challenges here reflect a national agenda that targets specific members of our communities including LGBTQ+ individuals and people of color.

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), The Massachusetts Library Association (MLA), The Massachusetts Library System (MLS), and The Massachusetts School Library Association (MSLA) support library staff’s efforts to ensure free, equal, and open access to information, guaranteed to everyone regardless of age or citizenship status, under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Read full article

FY24 Action Plan

Our FY24 Action Plan is now available online. Our planning and reporting structure has allowed MLS to adapt to unknowns as we move through the year, while also keeping our focus on our strategic and annual initiatives.

To learn more about our work, please read our Monthly Updates and review our FY22 Annual Report.

We look forward to further opportunities to collaborate, visit, and engage as we continue our work together.

MLS Call for Executive Board Nominations

Massachusetts has wonderful libraries powered by incredible librarians. The Massachusetts Library System (MLS) is seeking volunteers from member libraries to serve on our 15-member Executive Board. To best represent our membership, our Board should be as diverse as our libraries. We seek members from all backgrounds, with a wide range of experience and job titles, working in all sizes and types of libraries (academic, special, school, and public), from across the Commonwealth.

Do you want to have a seat at the table, shaping statewide library services? Please consider joining the MLS Board. You can learn more about our current roster, read our Mission Statement, and submit a self-nomination by clicking here.

Announcing: RIPL Regional in-person 2-day event

The Massachusetts Library System is thrilled to be collaborating with the Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL) to host a *free* 2-day “RIPL Regional” event on Monday and Tuesday, September 18 and 19, 2023 (8 am – 5 pm each day). This is an in-person event.

The RIPL Regional event is for Massachusetts library staff who are interested in public library data and evaluation. In this immersive, bootcamp style-event, you will learn practical, strategic methods of gathering, analyzing, and using data for planning, managing, and communicating impact. Participants will walk away from the RIPL Regional event with tools for evaluation, confidence in building research into their activities, and a network of colleagues for future learning and success.

The RIPL Regional 2-Day event will take place in-person at the Devens Commons Center, in Devens, Massachusetts. Catered continental breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and beverages will be provided.

Space is limited, so we are asking for applications. Click here to apply. Please complete the application by Tuesday, August 1, 2023.

One application per library please. Each library may apply to have up to two staff members attend this in-person event. You will be asked to provide the contact information for the staff member(s) in the application. You will be notified whether your application has been approved by Monday, August 14, 2023.

All members of the Massachusetts Library System (regardless of library type or position) may apply to attend the RIPL Regional event.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to attend the RIPL Regional event. Let us know if you have any questions. We hope to see your application!

Please note: This is a two-part workshop that takes place in-person over two days: September 18-19 from 8 AM – 5 PM each day. When you submit an application, you are committing to attend both days if your application is approved.

Save the Date: Annual Meeting

November 6, 2023
Devens Common Center
Details, including registration, to come

MLS Welcomes New Consultant Oscar Lanza-Galindo

MLS is excited to announce that Oscar Lanza-Galindo has joined the Consulting & Training Services department as a Consultant. Oscar will be focusing his consulting and training services on leadership and management topics. Please join us in welcoming Oscar.

Oscar joins MLS after more than a decade in library administration and leadership in higher education. With a commitment and passion for creating library communities that actively uphold values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Oscar served as an American Library Association (ALA) Councilor-at-Large and on ALA and ACRL committees. Oscar holds a Master of Arts in Library Science from the University of Arizona, a Master of Arts in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management from SIT Graduate Institute, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Higher Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Read full article 

ALA Chicago: Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) Tour

At ALA Chicago, MLS Sarah Sogigian and Mandy Malikowski along with members of the RUSA Physical Delivery Interest Group took a tour of Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) delivery operation. The RAILS operation is a hybrid system of in-house and outsourced delivery covering over 27,000 miles in the northern part of the state of Illinois. They service all different types of libraries and processed around 8.9 million items in FY22. Mark Hatch, Facilities and Delivery Director and staff from the Bolingbrook facility showed us the ins and outs; how materials are hand sorted using labels, loaded on to vans, and how the routes are run for delivery.

“Seeing the RAILS operation up close was great way to learn and gather new ideas for our delivery system. ” Mandy Malikowski, Delivery and Communications Coordinator

“It is so helpful to engage with other library organizations that provide physical delivery. Every visit informs our work here at MLS and connects us to our partners in this work.” Sarah Sogigian, MLS Executive Director