Resource Sharing Transitions

Today, I bring both happy and sad news from your colleagues at Massachusetts Library System.  For quite some time, we’ve been preparing for an upcoming retirement, and it’s time to share the news with you.

MLS Interlibrary Loan Manager Sue Kaler is retiring after 5.5 years of stellar service to Massachusetts libraries.  Sue joined MLS in 2014 to unify interlibrary loan processing operations at Massachusetts Library System. Here, she built a fantastic team and led innovations in MLS services to expand equity in resource sharing to Massachusetts libraries. Data Projects Entry Entry Projects Projects Entry Projects Entry Data Data Data

Pro-tips for Planning Library Program Series

On a recent site visit to the Cotuit Library on Cape Cod, I learned from Antonia Stephens, the library’s director, about several interesting program series. In this interview, you’ll hear directly from Antonia about these interesting programs. She will also share pro-tips for planning program series at your library.

Please tell us about the recent series that your library has hosted on a wide range of topics including music appreciation, end of life care, and Peru.

Antonia Stephens: The spring after I arrived at Cotuit, the former, well-loved, conductor of the Cape Cod Symphony—Royston Nash—passed away, and the Library received a lot of donations in his memory. Since we were in the habit of putting on music concerts a few times a year anyway, I decided to leverage those donations and apply for grants to host a two-year music appreciation series in the conductor’s honor. The idea was to present live music, workshops, lectures, films and book discussions throughout the year, featuring different genres and having some didactic element, so that the audience would learn something new, rather than just passively enjoy a concert. We ended up getting funding from two agencies—the Mid-Cape Cultural Council and the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod—for two years, which meant we were able to pay a reasonable amount to our performers. We even attracted some outside interest, with individuals and organizations collaborating with us for no cost, such as the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival. Although the two years have passed, we still put our music programs under the Royston Nash Music Appreciation Series heading, and it’s likely we’ll look for more grant opportunities in the future.

Living Until the End started as just a talk about facing a life-threatening illness, but my Program Coordinator, who at age 24 suffered such an illness, decided to go further with it, eventually including a Death Café, a discussion of end-of-life spirituality, green burial options, a book discussion on Atul Gawande’s book, Being Mortal, and a documentary viewing, among other events. It was compressed into one summer, and was attended by people who were very interested in the topics—not a lot of mildly curious folks for this one—but definitely appreciated by those who came.

Pathways of Peru was the latest version of our Wintertide Read and Ramble series, which is also a small fundraiser for the Library. It started four years ago when the former director and a Board member decided to do a variation on what the Boy Scouts in Alaska do and challenge patrons to walk a certain number of miles or read a certain number of books in anticipation of the Iditarod—they called it the Tin On Tin Europa Tin Tin On Europa Europa Iditawalk/Iditaread. The challenge began at the beginning of January and ended in March when the official Iditarod banquet is held. Participants pledged to walk or read and were given a log to track their progress, a map of the route of the Iditarod, some reading suggestions for books about Alaska and dog sledding and an invitation to a banquet at the end of the series. We also held thematic programs throughout the weeks of the series about Alaska, dog training and even a Facetime interview with a reporter on the trail. As participants covered the miles of finished books, they would move a personalized pin along the large trail map posted in our main room. There were prizes for the first reader and the first walker to reach Anchorage, and a draw for a raffle prize for those who paid to participate (the events were open to everyone, but they didn’t get to go to the feast or participate in the raffle). Data Projects Entry Entry Projects Projects Entry Projects Entry Data Data Data

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MLS Staff News

Dear MLS Members,

I’m writing with some staff news. MLS Resource Sharing Director Steven Spohn will be moving on from MLS to a position as Executive Director of the Ocean State Libraries in RI. His last day with MLS will be June 14.

Here’s a message from Steve:

What an adventure the past years at Massachusetts Library System have been! I’ve enjoyed working with amazing staff and engaged members and have been lucky to be involved in many exciting initiatives. Thank you to everyone who played a part in our efforts!

It was a difficult decision, but it’s time for me to move on. I’ve accepted a position at Ocean State Libraries and will soon join their talented team in service of Rhode Island libraries. Best wishes to you all

Please join me in wishing Steve well on his next adventure. We’ll miss you, Steve!

Sarah Sogigian
Executive Director

MLS Member Update: April 2019

Hello MLS Members!

I want to thank all of you for your good wishes and support as I take on this new role as Executive Director. I’m very excited to continue serving the organization in this capacity. I’ll need some time to get settled but I’m working closely with our Executive Board to prioritize tasks over the coming months. I welcome your input and ideas as we continue the great work MLS has provided over the past 9 years. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any of our staff with questions or comments. We have some exciting things coming and I can’t wait to share them with you!

Sarah Sogigian
Executive Director

MLS Executive Board

Welcome to Liz Teoli, Assistant Librarian at Northern Essex Community College – Bentley Library. Liz, a Project SET grad and active member of our community, joins us to fill a vacancy on our board. Thank you to Sarah Hooke, Associate Dean for Research and Information Services at Northeastern University School of Law for her years of service on behalf of MLS.

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