Massachusetts Library System

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The Massachusetts Library System (est.2010) is "a state-supported collaborative" in Massachusetts with a mission to "foster ... cooperation, communication, innovation, and sharing among member libraries of all types"[1] and "to provide regional services to libraries and residents."[2][3] Members may include "public, academic, school and special" libraries.[4] The system provides the following core services: advising, BiblioTemps(Registered Trademark), training & professional development, cooperative purchasing, research & development, summer library program, and the following services as part of resource sharing: delivery, mediated interlibrary loan, journal article document delivery, MassCat [2], and online content."[5] It operates from offices in Marlborough and Whately, Massachusetts.

The entity was formed "to consolidate the services of six former regional library systems:"[6] Boston Regional Library System, Central Massachusetts Regional Library System, MetroWest Regional Library System, Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System, Southeastern Massachusetts Library System, and Western Massachusetts Regional Library System.[7] During its formation by the Massachusetts legislature in spring 2010, the state-wide system received mixed support. The Massachusetts Library Association, for example, opposed aspects of the consolidation of regional systems, claiming service would suffer.[8]

According to its website, the Massachusetts Library System's "services are provided through state funds administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners," a state agency. As of December 2010, the executive board consists of representatives from public libraries, public and private schools and colleges, and libraries of private organizations.


  • Digital Treasures is a cooperative digital library project that holds 1,300 images across 36 collections pertaining to the history of central and western Massachusetts.[9]


  1. MLS website. Retrieved 2010-12-29
  2. Massachusetts Library System. Membership Agreement. Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners website. Retrieved 2010-12-29
  3. Specifically, "the purpose of the Massachusetts Library System is to provide supplementary library services to the cities and towns in the region in accordance with M.G.L. 78, section 19 and regulations and administrative guidelines of the Board of Library Commissioners. Services to be provided by the Massachusetts Library System are specified by the Board of Library Commissioners." cf. Massachusetts Library System. Membership Agreement. Retrieved 2010-12-29
  4. Massachusetts Library System. Certification of membership eligibility. MLS website. Retrieved 2010-12-29
  5. MLS Strategic Plan 2013-2015. [1]. Retrieved 2014-02-25
  6. MLS website. Retrieved 2010-12-29
  7. "Why Regional Library Systems Matter." Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Board of Library Commissioners. 2009 Annual Report
  8. Action Alert: House Budget Has Bad News for Libraries; MLA Opposes Amendments, Asks for Senate Help. Massachusetts Library Association website. Retrieved 2010-12-29

Further reading

  • Strategic Plan 2013-2015 (Massachusetts Library System)[3]
  • Update on new Massachusetts Library System. Brandeis University Library, Research & Instruction Services blog, March 3, 2010
  • David Riley. Massachusetts library systems to be consolidated, staff cut. MetroWest Daily News (Framingham MA), Apr 26, 2010.
  • Dan Ring. Western Massachusetts Regional Library System faces state funding cuts, layoffs., May 6, 2010
  • MLA does not support "The Western Region Amendment." MetroWest blog, 10 May 2010
  • Maureen Turner. Fighting for Western Mass. Libraries: the state Senate takes up the cause of the region's libraries. Valley Advocate (Northampton MA), June 3, 2010

External links