Catherine Utt is Moving On

Catherine Utt, Business Director, joined MLS in our early days at the old Waltham office.   We were amazed at our good fortune to find a candidate with an MBA and the right experience to manage our finances, HR, and launch MLS’s new statewide delivery service.

Catherine very successfully wrestled with the finances and corporate documents of a complex reorganization to help make MLS what it is today. She worked to build our partnership with MHEC to expand our cooperative purchasing program.

Catherine has made many important contributions to MLS to benefit our members. Her talents and organization have created an efficient and friendly member services team Her team is our interface to members, vendors, and our stakeholders including event coordination, delivery services, purchasing cooperatives, resource sharing, BiblioTemps®, and accounts receivable and payable. Her role on the management team has focused on team building and moving MLS forward on all fronts to serve our members more effectively.

Catherine has done much to make MLS successful and we will miss her. Her last day with us is February 6. Please join us in wishing her well in her new role as ­­­­­­­­Director of Finance and Administration at Jane Doe Inc.


Commonwealth eBook Collections – Overview and Q&A [Webinar]

Contact:               Stephen Spohn    508-357-2121 x 312

Location:             Online-GoToWebinar

Join us for a lively discussion about the Commonwealth eBook Collections program.  Stephen Spohn from MLS will give a brief update on the program and address questions from the audience.  MLS is delighted to be a part of this program along with our partners at MBLC and with strong support from our colleagues throughout Massachusetts.

Event dates and times:

January 28, 2015
10 to 11 a.m.
February 25, 2015
2 to 3 p.m.
March 25, 2015
10 to 11 a.m.
April 22, 2015
2 to 3 p.m.
May 20, 2015
10 to 11 a.m.
June 24, 2015
2 to 3 p.m.


Commonwealth eBook Collections (beta) is the next chapter in building a statewide eBook collection.  Following the successful pilot MA eBook Project, the Commonwealth eBook Collections program will expand participation to libraries throughout Massachusetts and continue efforts to expand access to affordable eContent and to strive for seamless, easy user experiences.

MLS is only able to accept a handful of additional FY 2015 program participants until January 31.  At that time, we will shift gears to recruitment for FY 2016.

For more information, see our MLSguide:

Legislative Breakfasts Kick Off in Clinton

The Bigelow Free Public Library in Clinton hosted the season’s first library legislative breakfast.  Representatives from the library and library community; the Mass Board of Library Commissioners; Mass Library Associaition; Mass School Library Association; the Mass Library System; and Senator Harriette Chandler; Representative Naughton; and Representative Hogan (Chair of the Library Caucus) addressed the crowd.  An Aide for Representative Benson and the Regional Director for Congresswoman Niki Tsongas also attended.

Themes for the day included the need to improve library funding, particularly state aid to public libraries and automated networks/library technology and resource sharing.  The opportunities for all offered by libraries to the residents of the Commonwealth including materials, summer library program, resource sharing, eBooks, and community center were mentioned by several speakers.  Others pointed out the efficiency of libraries and how a dollar goes a long way in these budget lines.  See MBLC’s Legislative Agenda.

Thanks to all who attended and we’ll see you at future breakfasts. See:

Marie Letarte Mueller, Bigelow Free Public Library Director; Michael J. Ward, Town Administrator; Gloria Parkinson, Library Trustee (l-r)

Marie Letarte Mueller, Bigelow Free Public Library Director; Michael J. Ward, Town Administrator; Gloria Parkinson, Library Trustee (l-r)


Regional Resource Sharing Symposium: Interstate Opportunities

The Boston Library Consortium and the Massachusetts Library System are pleased to announce open registration for the Regional Resource Sharing Symposium: Interstate Opportunities

The event will be held at the Beechwood Hotel, Worcester, Massachusetts on February 24, 2015 at 9:00 am.

Our keynote speaker, Valerie Horton, Minitex Executive Director, comes with rich interstate resource sharing experience.  Valerie was a co-founder of the COKAMO interstate delivery in Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri. Currently her organization provides and supports resource sharing in Minnesota and the Dakotas with a delivery connection to Wisconsin.

Additional updates will include Matthew Revitt, Maine Shared Collections Strategy; Mark Sullivan, IDS Project; Joni Blake, Occam’s Reader and others.

For more information about the event and to sign up click here:

Position Open: Training and Advisory Services Director

The Massachusetts Library System (MLS) is offering an exciting employment opportunity for a highly motived leader to direct a talented team of advisors in providing training, professional development, and advisory (consulting) services to 1,600 multi-type Massachusetts Libraries. The director serves on MLS’s leadership team in developing a holistic approach to empowering and enhancing Massachusetts libraries; organizational development, and setting policy; and reports to the executive director.  Please see the Position Description for more information.

Our mission is to foster cooperation, communication, innovation, and sharing among member libraries of all types.  We support the library workforce with training, advisory, and a unique temporary employment service called BiblioTemps®. We support provision of content electronically and through mediated ILL and document delivery, and physical delivery. Other services include a statewide purchasing cooperative for materials and supplies, a shared ILS for smaller libraries called MassCat, and a strong statewide summer reading program that reaches thousands of residents. We aspire to exploring innovative ways to strengthen libraries and bring the Massachusetts library community together. We believe that Libraries are stronger when they work together. MLS promotes equitable access to excellent library services and resources for all who live, work, or study in Massachusetts.

Applications received by February 15, 2015 will receive first consideration. Please provide a letter of application, resume, and the names and contact information of three professional references. We will notify candidates prior to contacting references. Send applications to Please state “Application TASD” in your subject line. All applications will be acknowledged by return email.

We welcome nominations of qualified candidates. Please forward nominations with your own and your nominee’s contact information to Please state “Nomination TASD” in your subject line. All nominations will be acknowledged by return email.

If you are attending ALA’s Midwinter Conference in Chicago, we would be pleased to arrange informational discussions with qualified candidates and members of our search committee.

Please contact Greg Pronevitz, Executive Director, at 508-357-2121 x303 with any questions or to arrange an informal discussion.

Recruiting schedule – Screening of applications will begin in mid-February. Initial screening of candidates will begin by late February.   Telephone reference checks will begin shortly thereafter for those candidates we are considering for the second round of screening. Finalists will be invited for additional interviews after reference checks for interviews in Marlborough mid-March through April 10, 2015.

MLS is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, age, marital status, sex, physical or mental challenge, creed, religion, political affiliation, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.  Members of underrepresented groups, and those committed to working in a diverse cultural environment are encouraged to apply.

About the Massachusetts Library System (MLS)

Our organization was formed by the merger of six regional library systems in 2010. We were one of many groups of regional library systems that merged at that time as a result of the economic crisis. MLS is a member-driven not-for-profit corporation governed by a 15-member Executive Board which is elected by the membership. MLS is funded chiefly by state appropriations and that funding has been stable since 2010 at about $7 million per year. Staffing stands at 27 FTE with plans to add several positions when increased funding permits.

Our new organization is maturing and we are now making special efforts to recruit a diverse pool of candidates for this position. We are boosting our efforts and attention to diversity in other ways. We will be working with our membership to discuss services to diverse patrons. We plan to identify effective ways to incorporate the needs of diverse populations in our work.

MLS provides important services to our membership: Training, Advisory, Cooperative Purchasing, eContent (reference and eBooks), Mediated ILL and Document Delivery, Physical Delivery, Shared ILS (MassCat), Summer Reading, and Temporary Library Staffing (Bibliotemps™).

MLS has two offices; one in Marlborough and the other in Whately. Our Marlborough office is located 30 miles west of Boston and 18 miles east of Worcester with easy highway access from I-495 and I-90 and outside the major rush hour traffic issues. Our Whately office is located 28 miles north of Springfield in a scenic rural area but close to a major highway. We plan move within a year into new quarters along the I-91 corridor between Springfield and Greenfield.

Please see the Position Description.