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.

This position will remain open until filled with preference given to applications received by February 1, 2019.  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

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Citizenship Day at the Boston Public Library

With the red-blue divide over immigration policy and our government shut-down, it’s a very stressful time to be an immigrant.  There’s a trusted, welcoming place of equal opportunity in every community:  the public library.  In this interview, Melissa Theroux, Literacy Coordinator, at the Boston Public Library (BPL) will tell you about the BPL’s experience hosting a Naturalization Ceremony and establishing Immigrant Information Corners in partnership with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Please tell us about the Naturalization Ceremony that the Boston Public Library hosted for Citizenship Day.

Boston Public Library Naturalization Ceremony
Photo Credit: Boston Public Library

Melissa Theroux: On September 17th, 2018, we held a Naturalization Ceremony at the Central Library in Copley Square. It was an honor to be part of this inspiring event! The idea for having the ceremony on Citizenship Day came from USCIS staff at the Boston office, specifically District Director Denis Riordan.  The ceremony was held in Central Library’s Rabb Lecture Hall. We had a total of ninety new citizens naturalized that morning, along with their family and friends. Boston Public Library President David Leonard, a naturalized citizen himself, gave the opening remarks, with Judge Marianne Bowler presiding. We were fortunate to have the Back Bay Chorale (a neighborhood chorus that provides outreach to community programs) present to sing during the ceremony. Afterward, the new citizens and their families were invited to a reception, where community partners were on hand to assist them with signing up for passports and registering to vote. The USCIS staff were instrumental in introducing us to partners who provide these services.

How has the BPL’s partnership with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services evolved through the years?

In 2015, Boston’s Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement, US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Boston Public Library began working together to establish Immigrant Information Corners in all branches of the library. These “corners” were designed to provide reliable information on the immigration and citizenship process to our patrons. They included “Welcome” booklets from USCIS, preparation materials for the naturalization test, and handouts referring patrons to community organizations that offer legal and social services to the immigrant community. The information corners were officially launched in the spring of 2016, shortly before we held a Naturalization Ceremony at our Mattapan Branch Library.

Later that fall, the USCIS Boston office began offering Information Hours at six neighborhood branches. USCIS staff have continued these information sessions for over two years, providing assistance to hundreds of library patrons. During these hours, USCIS staff are available on a drop-in basis to answer general questions about the immigration and citizenship process. Additionally, this information has been presented in lecture style workshops at a few of our branches.

In 2018, USCIS and the Boston Public Library collaborated on two additional events, the Naturalization Ceremony on Citizenship Day, and a training session for citizenship instructors titled “Bridges to Citizenship”. The training session brought together 90 citizenship instructors and volunteers to discuss best practices for preparing students for the Naturalization test and interview.

Photo Credit: Boston Public Library

What community partners contributed to Citizenship Day?

We are grateful to the local community partners who participated in our celebration that day. During the reception, our guests were greeted by representatives from the MFA Citizens Program, which offers free one year memberships to the museum for newly naturalized citizens and their families. The MFA staff signed up a large number of new members that afternoon. We also had members of the East Boston Ecumenical Community Council assist new citizens with registering to vote. Lastly, we had staff from the State Department and the US Post Office on hand to help new citizens sign up for a US Passport and take passport photos.

While our guests were milling around the reception, an exhibit was on display from the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center titled “Who We Are: Boston Immigration Then and Now.” The Map Center, located in the Central Library, had recently created a mobile version of this exhibit and were happy to make it available during the reception. 

What feedback did you receive about hosting the naturalization ceremony and Citizenship Day events?

By the end of the reception, our partners had served a large number of attendees. We were thrilled so many participants were able to sign up for these important resources.

Interview with Melissa Theroux, Literacy Coordinator, Boston Public Library

Interviewed by Michelle Eberle, Consultant

Previously in the Community Engagement Blog

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Libraries are instrumental

See libraries with instruments (and other Library of Things) on our new scatter map!

Have you considered adding musical instruments to your Library of Things, but don’t know where to start? Read below to learn from expert librarians across Massachusetts, and soon you will have your own noteworthy collection! As they develop their skills, your patrons will learn it’s more than books that make them sharp. If you’re lucky, some day one of your patrons may show off their skills at your library, like a guitarist who entertains book sale shoppers at Woods Hole with the library’s guitar! Continue reading

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MHEC: New L54 Digital Library Technologies

It’s a New Year and a new contract for Library Digital Technologies! MLS Member can now purchase from 18 new digital technologies leaders with discounts from 5% to 55% off regular pricing.

List of suppliers:

NEDi, LLC                                            For Your Student, Inc. DBA Eduporium
Pronunciator LLC                                Simply Analytics, Inc
Niche Academy                                   Carahsoft Technology Corp
Scholastic Library Publishing, Inc        Zoobean
BiblioLabs                                            Envision Ware, Inc
Findaway                                             Cavendish Square Publishing LLC
Demco                                                 The Rosen Publishing Group Inc
Plymouth Rocket, Inc                           Image Access, Inc dba Digital Library Systems Group
Capira Technologies, LLC                    Technology Education Concepts, Inc.

Learn more about L54 – Digital Library Technologies and Purchasing Cooperative on our LibGuide.

Interested in becoming a MHEC member? Click here for MHEC Membership Application

Questions? Please contact Shirley MacLean

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MLS Member Update: December 2018

UPDATE: In the update on the Commonwealth eBook Collections Content Transfer, it was noted that Rosen had not approved the transfer.  We are delighted to report that Rosen has since approved the content transfer.  MLS received incorrect information previously.


Happy New Year, MLS Members!

We’ve come to the end of another great year at MLS, and we are grateful to all of you who have contributed to our successes. Here is the last monthly update of 2018.

Selected Contents:

  • Annual Meeting
  • Outgoing MLS Board Members
  • Membership News
  • Advocacy Committee Activities
  • Emerging Online Products RFI Task Force Update
  • Commonwealth eBook Collections Content Transfer
  • MVLC Collection Development Project Plan
  • MLS Listening Tours
  • Legislative Breakfasts
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New Year equals new public domain works

Did you know your patrons may suddenly have access to items they could never get before?

If you missed the Smithsonian’s article on 12/19, you may not know that hundreds of thousands of materials previously unavailable will be legal to share on the public domain as of 1/1/2019.

If your patron is looking for a book (or film, photograph, recording, etc) published in the USA on or before 1923, they may be able to find it on the internet by looking at the Hathitrust, DPLA, Google Books, or even popular social sites Flickr or Youtube!

If you don’t find it on these more well-known sites, there are quite a few public domain sites that gather items that are either old enough to be in the public domain, or are newer but permitted under public domain, such as:

Continue reading

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