Dear MLS Members,

I’d like to start today’s member update with a hearty round of congratulations to the  MA School Library Association’s 2020 Award winners! We are honored to know and work with many of you. Thank you for sharing your talents with our profession.

Judi Paradis Action Grant: Kristie Hanley, Whittemore Elementary School, Waltham

Administrator Advocate Award: Dr. Deborah Froggatt, Boston Public Schools and Dr. Jeffrey Marsden, Medfield Public Schools

Peggy Hallisey Leadership Award: Anita Cellucci, Westborough High School

MA Super Librarian Awards: Mike Caligiuri, Florence Sawyer School, Maria D’Orsi, Medford High School, Laura Harrington, North Andover High School, Margaret Kane Schoen, Newton South High School

President’s Award: Liz Cammilleri, Venerini Academy, Callie Graham, Burlington High School, Rose Marz, Boston Arts Academy

Web Seal of Excellence: Felicia Quesada Montville, Newton Public Schools

MLS/MBLC Guidelines information

As many of you know, the MA Board of Library Commissioners and the MA Library System, in partnership with our automated networks, hosted a series of information gathering sessions with members between April 28 and May 4. The results of the sessions brought up several of the most critical concerns our libraries face when considering the re-opening of their physical spaces. Among them: safety for staff and patrons, materials handling, budget reductions and staff level reductions, and managing expectations. Additionally, we learned that many of you have some suggestions and ideas you are exploring.

Thank you to those who took the time to meet with us and share your thoughts. You can view all the comments from each session, as well as a summary of the discussions, on our Resource Guide. While we are already working on next steps, I’d like to take a moment to highlight something that Lt. Governor Polito said on Monday, May 4 in the State House News:

“Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito on Monday cautioned against viewing May 18 as a “magical date” on which the state’s businesses will fully bounce back into operation following weeks of mandated closures. Instead, she said, that’s the day the advisory board she co-chairs with Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy is set to issue plans for a “phased-in reopening” designed to safely build up to full capacity.”

I’d also like to share the MLS Executive Board’s message on the re-opening of physical spaces from last week.

It will be of upmost importance that every community works with their local governing boards, Boards of Health, and officials on plans for a phased-in reopening. We’ll post more in the coming days to help with your plans.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions. I hope you are all doing well as we move through this time together.

Sarah Sogigian