MLS Executive Director Announcement and Position Description

Position Opening – Call for Applications, Executive Director

The Massachusetts Library System (MLS) seeks an experienced leader, strategic thinker, creative problem solver, and enthusiastic library advocate to guide the development and implementation of statewide services to more than 1,600 multi-type libraries throughout Massachusetts.  This vacancy was created by the retirement of the founding Executive Director.

The Massachusetts Library System operates out of two offices, in Marlborough and Northampton, MA.

Massachusetts libraries are champions in resource sharing with a long history of strong collaboration. The MLS is a key player among the stakeholders who advocate for and strive to develop libraries and library services in the Commonwealth. The Executive Director will lead a talented team and work closely with the Executive Board and member libraries to nurture a statewide library community.

MLS seeks a leader with a strong teamwork orientation and a commitment to customer service and collaboration. Other skills important to this position include consortium library experience, understanding of libraries and their work, developing staff, fiscal and budget management, advocacy, developing and nurturing partnerships, vendor and partner contract negotiation, and excellent communications skills.

Executive Director position description download here.

Applications received by January 11, 2019 will receive first consideration. Please provide a letter of application, resume, salary expectations, and the names and contact information of three professional references. We will notify candidates prior to contacting references. Send applications to Please state “Executive Director Application” in your subject line. All applications will be acknowledged by return email. Continue reading

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Helping your patrons spin a good yarn

With winter here, your patrons may be interested in using your library to spin a yarn — literally, not just at storytime! Libraries throughout Massachusetts have knitting kits, clubs, and events. If you don’t already carry a kit, now is a great time to start: many patrons get interested in trying knitting or crochet for the first time in winter.

Kits, Collections and Cataloging

The largest discrepancy between our libraries in their knitting collections is how to list them. The most common listing is “knitting kit,” or “crochet kit,” but some will have it as a subheading under another title, such as “toys,” “makers kit,” or “crafts.” This type of listing can make searching more difficult for patrons, but sometimes the system requires it, so be sure to remind your patrons to use keyword searches if they don’t get results for any unusual items they search for!

One tricky cataloging issue is when something doesn’t quite fit in the category patrons may be looking under. If your network does have a standard category for knitting kits, but you circulate round knitting looms, the patron wouldn’t find it if they search “knitting kits,” so you may have to put extra effort into advertising their availability.

Some libraries have, in addition to or instead of cataloged items, uncataloged needlework supplies as more of a give-and-take set up. Grafton set up 2 large give-and-take bins and found patrons receptive to both donating and taking from them.

A few libraries began by keeping needles available and allowing patrons to borrow them on the honor system, but Fall River advises using kits specifically: Gayle Orlando (coordinator of their Needlecraft Club, which hosted a Yarn Bomb event), initially supplied knitting needles for people attending the club to use, with the request they be returned on the next week. But without a barcode, patrons forget to return the needles. Continue reading

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Revive Civility Program Series at the Wilmington Memorial Library

Are you concerned about the dramatic decline in civil discourse?  With this in mind, the Wilmington Memorial Library set-out to generate a community-wide atmosphere of kindness through a Revive Civility program series.  The Board of Selectmen were so pleased with this series that they issued a proclamation declaring September 2018 as the Revive Civility Month.  This series is an excellent example of a public library civic engagement program fostering the common good.

Keynote Address by Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer

Keynote Address by Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer

Please tell us about your Revive Civility program series.

In September 2018, the Wilmington Memorial Library presented Revive Civility a month long initiative to raise awareness of the importance of engaging in civil conversations. The library launched Revive Civility with a presentation by Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, the Executive Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse.  Over 85 people attended this event, including representatives from state and local government. They heard Dr. Lukensmeyer  speak about the causes of incivility in the political arena and beyond and took away tips on what they can do about it. Her presentation set the tone for the three discussion sessions that followed later in the month on Gun Control, NFL Protests, and the Future of Wilmington. The intent of these discussion programs was to give attendees the opportunity to practice the tenets of civility while potentially speaking to those who may disagree with them.   In addition, the library hosted Bill Littlefield from Public Radio’s Only a Game who spoke on sportsmanship.

Post It Note Positivity Wall

Meditation sessions were offered throughout the month to allow people to learn techniques for dealing with emotions that prompt uncivil behavior.  In addition to offering programs related to civility, the library had books on display that dealt with civility and kindness. We purchased 15 copies each of the two featured books Choosing Civility by P. M. Forni and Treating People Well by Lea Berman and Jeremy Bernard. These books were selected for the library’s monthly book discussions.  We also offered a number of children and teen programs that dealt with kindness and etiquette as well as some passive programs such as the “Kindness Tree” and “Post It Positivity Wall” to encourage patrons to think positive and kind thoughts. Continue reading

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

On the Road with MLS: Listening Tours

Join MLS and your colleagues for lively discussion and updates, and to lend your voice to MLS priorities at one of nine listening tour stops this January.


Drop by the tour stop nearest you!

Forbes Library, Northampton             Falmouth Public Library
Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield         Abington Public Library
Parker Memorial Library, Dracut        Wellesley Public Library
Worcester Public Library                    Boston Public Library
New Bedford Free Public Library

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

On the Road with Gale: Refreshing!

portrait of Stacey Knibloe a trainer of Gale databasesGale is going on the road again in Massachusetts. Join us for one of 7 sessions this month with Gale’s super trainer, Stacey Knibloe. Stacey will help you understand all the ins and outs and be there to answer all your questions. Learn to make the most of the Gale resources for your library users!

Register here!

Stacy will be stopping in:

Plymouth Public Library          Medford Public Library        Fitchburg Public Library
Plymouth North High School   Somerville High School       Fitchburg High School
Westfield Athenaeum

We hope to see you there!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email