Parker Library: From the Desk of the Director
Mar 14, 2017 06:15AM
● By Theresa Gilman
(Editor's Note: the following information was submitted by the Parker
Last May, I was sworn in as the 102nd President of the Massachusetts Library Association. In my role as President, I spent the morning and afternoon of March 7th at the State House in Boston, playing Mistress of Ceremonies for Library Legislative Day.
The day was a huge success. Fifty people attended the first legislative briefing with opening remarks from Representative Mathew Muratore, and sixty people attended the second briefing. Over 300 librarians, trustees, friends and other library advocates attended the day in all.
Once again, MLA's Legislative Committee offered a session for first-time attendees, with remarks from Representative Byron Rushing. That session was attended by fifty people. Ten libraries from the Commonwealth took over the Main Staircase area to show off innovative projects in their libraries. They were also joined by the Massachusetts School Library Association's Bookmark Contest winners and honorable mentions. Winners received a citation from the Senate. You can see the winning bookmarks here.
During the annual luncheon, I had the pleasure of awarding the 2017 MLA Legislative Award to Senator Kathleen O'Connor-Ives. Senator O'Connor Ives' began her Senate career as a member of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development where she took an early interest in issues of concern to the library community. In 2016 she demonstrated strong and visible support for the library line items in the FY17 state budget that were at risk of severe cuts in the Senate.
Each year, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners works with library organizations and librarians across the state to develop its yearly legislative agenda. The agenda is used to inform state legislators about funding priorities that impact library services for all residents, and serves as a guide for MBLC staff and the library community.
State funding, which is so important for the infrastructure of Massachusetts libraries, is currently lower than it was in 1998.
Free, equal and open-to-all Massachusetts Libraries were the first in the world to offer residents this kind of access, and our public libraries are still the only places that level the playing field for all ages, backgrounds, education level or ability. Through our heavily used statewide resource sharing system, every resident has equal access to resources that can transform their lives.
If you would like to be updated on legislative issues of importance to libraries in the state, you can sign up for MLA's Engage mailing list to receive updates.
Rest assured that as your library director, I make sure that I am up on and involved in anything that might impact library services here in Dracut.
As always, I am available to meet and talk with you. This is your library and we want to hear what you think!
Nanci Hill, Library Director