Download our Meeting Materials at the link below! We'll have a few hard copies available at the meeting; if you'd like a personal copy, we encourage you to view them online or print out a set to bring with you.
10:00 Welcome and Introductions
10:10 Morning Keynote
11:30 MLS Business Meeting
12:00 Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Update
12:10 Massachusetts Library Association Legislative Committee Update
1:15 Afternoon Keynote
2:15 Closing Remarks
Book signing with Cynthia Leitich Smith immediately following the program
Michael J. Bobbitt is an award-winning theater director, choreographer, and playwright who has dedicated his professional career to arts leadership. He began his tenure as Executive Director of Mass Cultural Council in February 2021 and is the highest-ranking cultural official in Massachusetts. Bobbitt serves on the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) Board of Directors, the National Assembly of State Arts Agency’s (NASAA) Board of Directors, and was selected for artEquity’s BIPOC Leadership Circle.
He is the former Artistic Director of the New Repertory Theater in Watertown, Massachusetts and the Adventure Theater in Maryland. Bobbitt gained extensive experience in nonprofit arts management by training at Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management, The National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, and Cornell University’s Diversity and Inclusion Certification Program.
As a director and choreographer he has worked nationally and internationally. As a writer his plays have been published by Concord Theatricals, Broadway Publishing, and Plays for Young Audiences. Bobbitt is the recipient of the Excel Leadership Award (Center for Nonprofit Advancement), the Emerging Leader Award (County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities), and Person of the Year Award (Maryland Theatre Guide), along with eight Helen Hayes Awards.
Cynthia Leitich Smith is a NSK Neustadt Laureate and a New York Times bestselling author of books for young readers, including HEARTS UNBROKEN, which won the American Indian Library Association’s Youth Literature Award.
Her most recent releases are the middle grade anthology ANCESTOR APPROVED: INTERTRIBAL STORIES FOR KIDS, which received four starred reviews and was named an ALA Notable Children’s Book, and the novel SISTERS OF THE NEVERSEA, which received six starred reviews. Both books were named to numerous “best of the year” lists. Her upcoming YA novel HARVEST HOUSE will be released in spring 2023. She also looks forward to the spring 2023 release of THE BLUE STARS: THE VICE PRINCIPAL PROBLEM (Book One in THE BLUE STARS SERIES), co-authored by Kekla Magoon and illustrated by Molly Murakami.
Cynthia is also the author-curator of Heartdrum, a Native-focused imprint at HarperCollins Children’s Books, and the Katherine Paterson Inaugural Endowed Chair on the faculty of the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Cynthia is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation and lives in Austin, Texas.
We welcome staff from our member libraries and partners to our annual meeting. Per our bylaws, only one vote per institution can count toward our quorum. Please check with others attending from your institution to ensure we count the vote from a designated representative. Proxy votes are also allowed; please contact Tom Raffensperger, MLS Board Clerk and Betsy Meaden, MLS Business and HR Director prior to the meeting, if you would like to file a proxy.
Is your library an MLS member? If your institution is listed in the MA Board of Library Commissioner's Library Directory, it is!