Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Transition of Regional Library Systems: An Update

The following message is edited from an email that was sent to the allregions email discussion list on December 22 by Cindy Roach, Southeastern Massachusetts Library System:

"Over the past two months, regional annual meetings, executive boards and two planning meetings have identified “Core” regional services. The “Core” regional services that will continue in the new regional structure are:

· Advisory and Consulting
· Continuing Education
· Databases and e-content
· Delivery
· Mediated Interlibrary Loan

On Dec 14, Regional Executive Boards, MBLC Liaisons and Regional staff met to prioritize “second tier” services. “Second tier” services are those that will continue in the new regional structure as funding is available. One service that was identified and that is essential and an integral part of any regional service is Advocacy. It is an activity that the new structure must endorse and actively pursue.

Second Tier services:

· Cooperative Purchasing programs – including materials and supply coops plus other programs that provide the best bang for the buck for members.
· MassCat
· Youth Services – While the consulting and continuing education part would be a core service; most agreed that the new regional structure must have strong commitment to youth through work with school libraries, the Summer Reading Program and other literacy support.
· Digitization – Important, but the group could not determine how the new structure could have a strong return of investment in this area. This still needs to be discussed and developed.
· Web support and development: This would include projects such as Home on the Range, where the region would support web-site development and maintenance. It would also mean hosting and maintaining specialized web resources: the Library Policy and job description page; Director’s Essentials, Performer’s Directory.
· Research and development: keeping aware of trends in the field, new technologies, grants and innovative pilot projects.

Please think about the regional services that you use – have we identified them? Please send any comments that you have regarding “core” and “second-tier” services, to your regional administrator, John Ramsay, by December 31st.

Email comments to

There is a Committee established who will work on a plan of service that includes the “core” and as many “second” tier services as funding allows. This committee will start its work early in the new year and we would like to have your comments to share with them.

Thank you. Happy Holidays to all!"

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