May 24, 2018 Member Update

Dear MLS Members,

I am writing to announce our May 24, 2018 MLS Update.  DOWNLOAD

Selected Contents:

  • People News
  • Nominating Committee Update
  • Institute of Database Engagement and Leadership News
  • Commonwealth eBook Collections

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Greg Pronevitz,
Executive Director

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Special Project? BiblioTemps Can Help!

BiblioTemps® has helped 96 libraries by successfully filling over 310 placements to date. In FY 2018 we have grown our client base by adding 10 new client libraries. Our client libraries consist of 63% public, 25% academic and 12% special or school libraries. Over the years, we have filled 15 Interim Director placements, 80 Reference Librarian roles, 20 jobs Cataloging and over 130 positions in Circulation and much more.

We have helped libraries complete special project such as inventorying and weeding a large Medical collection, organized packing and moving of materials, and digital archiving of special collections.

Surprised? Call BiblioTemps®® today to see what we can do for your library. BiblioTemps® is the Staffing Solutions for Libraries! Contact Shelah Coullard at 508-357-2121 ext 322 or


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Call for Executive Board Volunteers

The Massachusetts Library System (MLS) is seeking volunteers from among the membership to serve on the Executive Board.  Board members are elected to represent our multi-type membership, i.e., academic, special, school, and public libraries from all parts of the Commonwealth.  Three new board members and three renewing board members will be elected for three-year terms, beginning January 2019.  The Council of Members will approve a slate of candidates and officers at the November 2018 annual meeting.

We have only one special library representative and one representative from the northeastern part of the Commonwealth on the Board.  We encourage applications from these areas and all other types and areas.  Board members come from all positions in member libraries.  Volunteers need not be the library director.  Occasionally MLS has Board openings due to job changes that require us to fill additional slots on short notice from all types of libraries, it is good to have a pool to draw from.

The Executive Board governs the business and affairs of MLS. It typically meets for three hours, twelve times a year. Most meetings are held at the MLS office in Marlborough and some meetings are held at our Northampton office, others may be held at other locations around the state.  The option to attend remotely is available; however, in-person attendance allows for the most effective communications and relationships.  We traditionally invite incoming members to an orientation meeting in December, prior to their taking office.


Nominations close at 5:00 p.m., Friday, July 6, 2018. We have a lengthy nominating period and announce early to encourage those who may not work in the summer to participate.  Nominating Committee recommendations will be announced by early fall.

Please contact the Nominating Committee Chair, Henry Toromoreno ( or MLS staff liaisons, Greg Pronevitz ( or Betsy Meaden ( if you have questions.  MLS bylaws are available at  Current Board roster is at

Tentative meeting schedule for 2019

December 10, 2018 – 10-12 Orientation new members; 12-1 Lunch; 1-4 Meeting (Marlborough)
January 14, 2019 – 1-4pm
February 11 – 1-4pm
March 18 – 1-4pm
April 15 – 1-4pm
May 20 – 1-4pm
June 17 – 1-4pm
July 15 – 1-4pm
August 19 – 1-4pm
September 16 – 1-4pm
October 21 – 1-4pm
November 4 – 9:30-TBA (Annual Meeting at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester)
December– 9 — 10-12 Orientation; 12-1 Luncheon; 1-4 Meeting (Marlborough)


The Nominating Committee for 2019 Elections

Henry Toromoreno, Haverhill High School, Chair

Karen Demers, Wilbraham Public Library

Stephanie Friree Ford, McLean Hospital, Belmont

Steve Mazzulli, North Quincy High School, Media Center

Mike Somers, West Bridgewater State University

Betsy Meaden, Staff Liaison

Greg Pronevitz, Staff Liaison


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Medway Public Library’s Summer Lunch Program

Did you know that 1 in 10 Massachusetts households are food insecure? And, 1 in 7 Massachusetts children are food insecure.  Families who rely on the reduced or free school breakfast/lunch program face hunger in the summer. With this concern in mind, Margaret Perkins, Director of the Medway Public Library, funded a summer lunch program with the help of her Friends, because her library was ineligible for USDA funding.  Get tips from Margaret about how your library can fund and offer a successful summer lunch program.

Margaret Perkins, Medway Public Library

Margaret Perkins, Medway Public Library

Tell us about your summer lunch program and how you generated funding independent of Project Bread.

Margaret Perkins: Last spring, I read an article on WebJunction’s newsletter about free summer lunch programs offered by libraries in several states. Most of these programs were USDA-funded.  Most libraries in Massachusetts that offer a summer lunch program receive USDA funding, and partner with Project Bread. This funding requires that a minimum of 50% of the children in the community or program be eligible to receive reduced price or free lunch at school. I found that 12% of students in Medway are eligible for free or reduced price lunches, and although that percentage is too low to qualify for USDA funding, it is considerably higher than it was a few years ago. I decided to look into alternative funding.

I contacted Medway’s Wellness Director, Ryan Sherman, as well as librarians from MLS and from other libraries that offer a free summer lunch program, all of whom provided a wealth of helpful suggestions. We began fundraising in April. The Friends of the Medway Library visited a number of businesses and restaurants to ask for donations to cover one of the eight meals provided during the summer. We received generous donations from the Lions Club, a church, supermarket, restaurant, businesses and individuals. Those organizations that had facilities to do so prepared delicious lunches. We also used donated funds to purchase prepared sandwiches and other lunch items such as applesauce and fruit cups from local stores. Garelick Farms donated milk each week. Parents/caregivers and children were all invited to eat lunch, a difference from the USDA funded programs which cannot provide food to adults. Extra sandwiches, milk and other perishables were offered to the attendees or donated to a family shelter.

In addition to providing much needed nourishment and nutrition for kids and families, what other benefits did your patrons experience from your summer lunch program?

We offered the summer lunch program once a week for 8 weeks, beginning the week after the 4th of July. Story hour for children up to about 8 years of age preceded each lunch. After lunch we offered STEM and craft activities for older children. We discovered that our giant tub of Duplo was hugely popular among the preschoolers and toddlers. Parents often participated in the craft and STEM activities, and gathered in the DUPLO area to share parenting stories and advice. These activities promoted family and community cohesiveness, and offered a welcoming atmosphere to patrons of all ages. Families new to the library were introduced to the wide varieties of programs offered, and children from several families became regular attendees at library programs throughout the following school year.

How will you sustain funding for your summer lunch program?

Thanks to generous donations by the Medway Pride Day Committee, Whole Foods Market, and the Lions Club, we are able to offer the summer lunch program three times a week in 2018. We could not have offered the program without our dedicated Friends of the Library, who not only sought out donations, but picked up many of the meals and worked tirelessly, along with a number of other volunteers, to serve the food. We are optimistic that funding has been found to cover several upcoming years as well.

What tips would you offer to other public libraries who do not qualify for Project Bread funding and would still like to offer a summer lunch program?

  • We were amazed at how many businesses and organizations were happy to donate. Don’t hesitate to ask, even if the business is unrelated to food.
  • Start out small – one meal a week worked well for us.
  • We found that it was not necessary to ask people to sign up – when we offered lunch one day during February and April vacation without a sign-up, we still had a good turnout.
  • We planned for 20-30 people each week. Had a larger number showed up, we planned to make a quick run to a local pizza shop or to a deli for more sandwiches.
  • Make sure you have enough volunteers with driver’s licenses to pick up the food. We had no problem finding wonderful volunteers of all ages to serve the lunches.

Any other thoughts you would you like to share?

We were amazed at the huge response we received from the community. We are very grateful to the generous residents, organizations, and businesses of Medway and surrounding towns.

If you have questions about the Summer Food Service Program and your community’s eligibility for federal funding please contact April Mazza or Christi Farrar, MLS Consultants. 

*Want to learn more about the Medway Public Library’s summer lunch program?  Then, attend the “Books and Bites:  Summer Meals at Your Library” presentation on Monday, May 21st at 10:30 AM at the Massachusetts Library Association Conference in Framingham.

Interview with Margaret Perkins, Director at the Medway Public Library 

Interviewed by Michelle Eberle, MLS Consultant

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Member Update-May 2018

Dear MLS Members,

I am writing to announce our May 2018 MLS Update.  DOWNLOAD

Selected Contents:

  • Executive Board Activities
  • Commonwealth eBook Collections
  • Directors’ Forums
  • Staff News

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Greg Pronevitz,
Executive Director

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