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MLS Events: Small Library Forum

2021 Massachusetts Small Libraries Forum

 

 

 

 

 

THANK YOU for making this year's Forum a success!
Archived sessions are now available here and on our 
Vimeo channel.

Day One - November 16

10 AM - Welcome & Introductions:

  • Kristi Chadwick, Consultant, MLS and Lyndsay Forbes, Projects Manager/Grants Specialist, MBLC
  • Sarah Sogigian, Executive Director, Massachusetts Library System
  • James Lonegran, Director, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

10:30 - 11:30AM - ALA Libraries Transforming Communities, Samantha Oakley, presenter:

Libraries are uniquely positioned to be leaders and change agents in their communities, but where should you begin? Join the American Library Association to learn about the impact library-led community conversations can have and get an overview of the free facilitation resources available through Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC) to help you get started.

LTC is an initiative of the American Library Association that seeks to strengthen libraries’ role as core community leaders and change-agents. The initiative helps libraries become more reflective of and connected to their communities and achieve a domino effect of positive results, including stronger relationships with local civic agencies, non-profits, funders and corporations, and greater community investment in civility, collaboration, education, health and well-being.

Samantha Oakley is a program manager with the American Library Association’s Public Programs Office and project director of Libraries Transforming Communities. She has a BA in English from Western Illinois University, an MA in Gender Studies from the Minnesota State University – Mankato, and is currently working on getting her MLIS from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

12 - 1PM - Networking: BYO Lunch / Pre-recorded sessions - Zoom

Join your colleagues in breakouts to discuss successes, challenges, or other topics you want to share with other small library staff. Feel free to bring your lunch. 

You also have the opportunity to view some of the pre-recorded sessions available to attendees:

Library Building Programs for Small to Large Projects

Library building projects can be daunting, especially for small libraries. Learn from the MBLC's Library Building Specialists, Lauren Stara and Andrea Bono-Bunker, about the process behind creating a library building program, which is a scalable document that establishes the needs and square footage for any construction project. Hear from two library directors from towns of less than 2,000, Kathleen Bort of the Otis Library and Mary Anne Antonellis of the M. N. Spear Memorial Library in Shutesbury, as they share their experiences creating a library building program with robust community engagement for the MBLC's Small Public Library Pilot Project.

Managing Historic Collections
Evan Knight, Preservation Specialist at MBLC, will highlight basic but fundamentally important issues in the management of your historic collections. You will learn what you can do to increase access to the collections, while improving preservation. In this context, a number of free programs will be discussed, particularly MBLC/LSTA grants, the MA SHRAB Roving Archivist, and Digital Commonwealth scanning and hosting.

Evan Knight is the Preservation Specialist at the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

Genealogy & Libraries: Practically Perfect Partnerships
The popularity of genealogy and family history has grown tremendously during the last twenty decades and includes a diverse range of ages, ethnicities, and income demographics. Local libraries are usually the first stop for local patrons and patrons who travel from afar on their genealogical research pilgrimages discovering their ancestral roots. Attendees will learn how enriching programs, external partnerships, and supportive resources will help to increase library patronage and cultivate a Practically Perfect Partnership in every way! 

Kathleen Kaldis is a professional genealogist who is known as The Ancestor Finder.  Her interest in genealogy started at a young age when she heard stories about how her great great-grandfather, who was born on Cape Breton Island and came to Boston to build Fenway Park.  Go SOX! Her enthusiasm shines through when she shares her passion of genealogy with her clients and audiences. 

A professional genealogist and genealogical speaker, Kathleen has worked as a Genealogist at the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants and The New England Historic and Genealogical Society, and she specializes in lineage and forensic research. She holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University, and has successfully completed many advanced level genealogical institute courses. Her areas of genealogical expertise are: New England and the Atlantic Canadian Provinces, lineage research, forensic research, Greek research, researching mariners who sailed the seas, and resolving challenging genealogical problems. 

Kathleen and her husband grew up on Cape Cod and currently reside in Leominster, Massachusetts.


1 - 2PM - Making the Most of the Space You Have, Lauren Stara, presenter:

Do you have underused or poorly configured spaces in your library? Are your services evolving, but your building is stuck in the past? This session will help librarians assess their physical space and offer ideas and tips to alter existing space for better functionality in the 21st century.

Lauren Stara is a registered architect and a librarian, specializing in library building design. Her past library experience includes everything from front desk clerk to director in three small public libraries in Colorado, Washington, and British Columbia. In her position as Library Building Specialist for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners since 2013, Lauren has administered grant funds and provided technical assistance and advice from initial planning through construction for over 100 library building projects throughout Massachusetts.

2 - 3PM - Summer Reading in Small Libraries panel:

Join us for a panel about all things summer reading! Get advice and insight from three small librarians about how they make summer reading programs work for their community. From budgets to programming to marketing, you’ll take away new ideas you can incorporate into summer reading at your library and learn ways to make this annual program more manageable to run.

Panel
Maren Caulfield is the Youth Services Librarian at Thayer Memorial Library in Lancaster.
Nicole Daviau is the Director at Porter Memorial Library in Blandford.
Kathy Morris is the Director at Phinehas S. Newton Library in Royalston.

Day Two - November 17

10 - 11 AM     Small Town Mysteries are BIG in Massachusetts: Sisters in Crime New England Panel,                                                    Misha Storm, moderator.

One of the best settings for mystery readers is in places that may not actually exist, but definitely have real town inspiration. Hear from four Sisters in Crime New England mystery writers about how they have used their own experiences of living in and writing about Massachusetts towns and libraries, and learn more about one of the most popular genres in your library. 

Panel:
Jeannette de Beauvoir writes mystery and historical fiction that’s been translated into 12 languages. A Booksense Book-of-the-Year finalist, she’s a member of the Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the National Writers Union. All her novels are firmly rooted in a sense of place, and her delight is to find characters true to the spaces in which they live. She herself lives and writes in a cottage in Provincetown, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and loves the collection of people who assemble at a place like land’s end. In a message to me, Jeannette notes that “More than one book in the series (set in Provincetown) at least talks about our very real and amazing library.”

J.A. (Judith) McIntosh is an attorney and writes legal suspense and mysteries for thinking adults, primarily about people trying to make the best of an awful situation and their attempts to connect with others and get what they need.  She lives in the small town of Athol, much like her fictional Meredith, Massachusetts, and has lived there most of her life.  Most of her family lives there also, an atypical situation in the twenty-first century.  As the town has less than 10,000 people, she knows a large percentage of the population.  She belongs to the local YMCA, get her nails done by the manicurist with a storefront, and shop at the local WalMart.  You can learn more about her town and her writing from her newsletter, "Herbs and Handguns:  Life as a Rural Mystery Writer." Judith also serves as library liaison for SinC/NE.

Susan Oleksiw is a prolific author, with two of her three series are set in small towns. The Mellingham series is set on the coast of New England (MA), featuring Chief Joe Silva.  Her second is the Pioneer Valley series, set in a small farming community in Central MA, featuring farmer/healer Felicity O’Brien. Susan's short fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and numerous anthologies. She is a co-founder of Level Best Books, which published an annual anthology of Best New England Crime Stories, and after the anthologies were discontinued, Susan co-founded Crime Spell Books to continue their publication.

Leslie Wheeler is an award-winning author of non-fiction,and she has written two mystery series: the Miranda Lewis Living History mysteries are set at historic sites like Plimoth Plantation and Gettysburg, and the Berkshire Hilltown Mysteries, set in the small Berkshire town of New Nottingham, not unlike the town of New Marlborough, where she has lived for many years, both full- and part-time. She calls the books “dark valentines” to a place she loves, but where bad things, nevertheless, happen. Leslie’s short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies including the Best New England Crime Stories series, published by Level Best Books, where she was a co-editor for six years. She now serves as a co-editor at Crime Spell Books, which is continuing that series.

Moderator Misha Storm is the Director at the Dickinson Memorial Library in Northfield.

11AM - 12PM
What Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness Means For You, Matt Amory, presenter:

The "Temporary Waiver" President Biden and Secretary of Education Cardona announced on October 6th makes it a lot easier to get Public Service Loan Forgiveness, so this is the right time to start over, or to start learning for the first time about how full-time public servants CAN get 100% of their principal and interest forgiven after 120 payments under PSLF.  I did it, and so can you!

Matt is a Public Librarian and Union activist, and an Admin on the 44,000+ member Public Service Loan Forgiveness Support Group on Facebook. He's been giving presentations on PSLF since 2019.

12 - 1PM - Networking: BYO Lunch / Pre-recorded sessions - Zoom

Join your colleagues in breakouts to discuss successes, challenges, or other topics you want to share with other small library staff. Feel free to bring your lunch. 

You also have the opportunity to view some of the pre-recorded sessions available to attendees:

Library Building Programs for Small to Large Projects

Library building projects can be daunting, especially for small libraries. Learn from the MBLC's Library Building Specialists, Lauren Stara and Andrea Bono-Bunker, about the process behind creating a library building program, which is a scalable document that establishes the needs and square footage for any construction project. Hear from two library directors from towns of less than 2,000, Kathleen Bort of the Otis Library and Mary Anne Antonellis of the M. N. Spear Memorial Library in Shutesbury, as they share their experiences creating a library building program with robust community engagement for the MBLC's Small Public Library Pilot Project.

Managing Historic Collections
Evan Knight, Preservation Specialist at MBLC, will highlight basic but fundamentally important issues in the management of your historic collections. You will learn what you can do to increase access to the collections, while improving preservation. In this context, a number of free programs will be discussed, particularly MBLC/LSTA grants, the MA SHRAB Roving Archivist, and Digital Commonwealth scanning and hosting.

Evan Knight is the Preservation Specialist at the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

Genealogy & Libraries: Practically Perfect Partnerships
The popularity of genealogy and family history has grown tremendously during the last twenty decades and includes a diverse range of ages, ethnicities, and income demographics. Local libraries are usually the first stop for local patrons and patrons who travel from afar on their genealogical research pilgrimages discovering their ancestral roots. Attendees will learn how enriching programs, external partnerships, and supportive resources will help to increase library patronage and cultivate a Practically Perfect Partnership in every way! 

Kathleen Kaldis is a professional genealogist who is known as The Ancestor Finder.  Her interest in genealogy started at a young age when she heard stories about how her great great-grandfather, who was born on Cape Breton Island and came to Boston to build Fenway Park.  Go SOX! Her enthusiasm shines through when she shares her passion of genealogy with her clients and audiences. 

A professional genealogist and genealogical speaker, Kathleen has worked as a Genealogist at the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants and The New England Historic and Genealogical Society, and she specializes in lineage and forensic research. She holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University, and has successfully completed many advanced level genealogical institute courses. Her areas of genealogical expertise are: New England and the Atlantic Canadian Provinces, lineage research, forensic research, Greek research, researching mariners who sailed the seas, and resolving challenging genealogical problems. 

Kathleen and her husband grew up on Cape Cod and currently reside in Leominster, Massachusetts.

1 - 2PM
Being the Boss Burn-out, Lisa Cheever, presenter:

This session focuses on the joys and challenges that come with being in charge.  The demands of the library world have become more complicated in the pandemic, and responding to patron needs in the new normal can be overwhelming. Whether you manage a library of two or twenty, self-care and honest self-evaluation are tools to create a happier workspace for yourself, your staff, and your patrons. This session will provide tools for self-care, proactive management, and battling being-the-boss burnout.

Lisa Cheever is the director of the Blackstone Public Library

2PM - Closing Remarks