Climate Change Conversations:  Librarians Fostering Community Dialogue

Madeleine Charney

Madeleine Charney

In the winter of 2018, I had the pleasure of hosting a series of Climate Change Conversations workshops for Massachusetts Library System members presented by Madeleine Charney, Research Services Librarian, at the W.E.B. DuBois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, during her sabbatical. The workshops provided a valuable opportunity for librarians to become leaders in increasing dialogue in our communities, specifically around the topic of climate change.  I am very excited about how this approach can be used as a civic engagement approach for librarians to host transformative community conversations.

Tell us about your Climate Change Conversations workshops.

Madeleine Charney: This past spring, while on sabbatical from the UMass Amherst Libraries, I offered a five-hour training, “Facing the Future: Facilitating Climate Change Conversations in Your Library” in each New England state. There was a mix of public and academic librarians in attendance with a few trustees, Friends of the Library and non-profit staff members (from Cornerstones of Science) sprinkled in. In all, I engaged with 106 trainees.  My goal was to empower librarians (and their allies) to invite patrons to explore the “wicked problem” of climate change on a heart level and in a non-threatening environment. Modeling a World Café format, we gathered in small groups to answer questions such as “What gives you hope regarding climate change?”, “To whom would you turn in your local community in the event of a climate change crisis?” “What tools (inner and/or outer) would you activate in the event of a climate change crisis — to support yourself and others in your community?” and “What do you fear re: climate change?” Continue reading

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Project SET Spotlight: Weronika Zawora

Introducing Weronika Zawora! She is an Information Services Associate at Regis College. Recently we asked Weronika to share her Project SET experiences.

How did you become aware of Project SET, and what elements drew you to the program?
A few weeks after starting my position at Regis College this past winter, I came across a recruitment flyer for the 2018 Project SET cohort. Figuring it was a perfect opportunity to network with fellow libraries from across the state, it was an honor to discover I had been selected to join this year’s group. As a paraprofessional at a career crossroads, I am hopeful Project SET will serve as a guide in achieving future career goals.

What are your first impressions of the program and its intended outcomes?
So far, our monthly meetings have provided an opportunity to trade ideas and confer about similar challenges facing today’s librarians. Our presentation preparations allowed members to expand, modify and tailor our topics while simultaneously addressing our many public speaking concerns.

Project SET begins each year with a study of trends currently impacting libraries. Of the trends you’ve learned about which one do you feel will have the biggest impact on your library and why?
Since I work at an academic library, I select “Emerging Adulthood” a trend most impacting our students. As society continues to redefine the life goals that have (until recently) signified formal entry into adulthood, today’s students are looking to gain a competitive edge through extended and specialized academic programs. Libraries can help students achieve their scholastic goals through in-depth research help, by catering to the unique needs of both undergraduate and postgraduate scholars and by providing a safe place to study solo or collaborate with others.

Want to know more about Project SET? Visit our LibGuide!

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Procurement: Chapter 30B and MHEC

Do you have questions about procurement requirements? How MHEC relates to those requirements? How can I use MHEC contracts effectively? This program brings you information to answer those questions.

MHEC logoProcurement: Chapter 30B and MHEC
Friday, October 19, 2018 10am-1pm
MLS-Northampton
Register

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Anastasia Bizanos-Ashe, Senior Counsel, Regulatory & Compliance Division, Office of the Massachusetts Inspector General, will present a 30B overview and answer your questions about procurement law.
  • An overview of MHEC/MLS contracts and an introduction to related resources from the MHEC MLS Guide.
  • MHEC Website training presented by Jacqueline Cashin, CGA, CA, Manager Library Procurement Contracts, MCPPO, MHEC.

This program is designed for library staff who are required to follow municipal and state regulations for procurement.

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Project SET Spotlight: Ben Phinney

Introducing Ben Phinney! He is an Adult Services Librarian at Seekonk Public Library. Recently we asked Ben to share his Project SET experiences.

How did you become aware of Project SET, and what elements drew you to the program?
A colleague of mine turned me on to Project SET after she had gone through the program. The skill building nature of the program attracted me to it. I’ve always seen myself as a life-long learner and try to jump on any chance I get to advance my skillset.

What are your first impressions of the program and its intended outcomes?
The program is exciting so far. Just the public speaking workshop alone was full of invaluable information and feedback. I’ve seen myself as a fairly decent public speaker, but after the Project SET workshop on public speaking I realize how much better my presentations could be. There are so many factors I hadn’t even thought to consider.

Project SET begins each year with a study of trends currently impacting libraries. Of the trends you’ve learned about which one do you feel will have the biggest impact on your library and why?
Of the future trends we have discussed so far at Project SET, the one I believe will have the biggest impact on my library in particular is Aging Advances. Our core population group is older adults. Seekonk has a median resident age of 44 which is 5 years older than the Massachusetts average. As technological advances allow people to live longer and live better, this core population is only going to grow. Communities, like mine, will experience a large impact from this trend and will need to adjust their services accordingly.

Want to know more about Project SET? Visit our LibGuide!

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Member Update July 2018

Best wishes, Greg!
MLS Executive Director Greg Pronevitz retired on July 5, 2018. Members and staff sent him off with a farewell celebration graciously hosted by our friends at the Harvard Public Library. Greg received citations from the MA House of Representatives, the MA State Senate, and the MA Board of Library Commissioners acknowledging his outstanding commitment to Massachusetts libraries. Congratulations and thank you, Greg!

 

MLS Executive Director Search
After a thorough process, which included several rounds of interviews and feedback from our staff and our members, the Executive Board was not able to successfully fill the role.

While the board is disappointed with the outcome, we are committed to finding the best candidate for this position.

The Executive Board will be meeting in August in Northampton to discuss next steps in this process. In the meantime, we are very fortunate to have Sarah Sogigian acting as Interim Director of MLS.

Sarah’s contact info: 508-357-2121 x311 | sarah@masslibsystem.org

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact a member of the board. Board member contacts are available on our website. Continue reading

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