Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Regional Transition Team Report #2

The following message was posted on the AllRegions email discussion list on Wednesday, March 3:

Dear Colleague:

The attached document provides an overview of the work to date of the Regional Transition Planning Committee (TransTeam). This group of 18 representatives of regional executive boards (3 members from each region) was established following the December 14 meeting of all regional executive board members to work toward a transition to a single “regional” entity to carry out the program beginning in FY2011. The work of the TransTeam is supported by Linda Braun as facilitator, the 6 regional administrators and myself as ex officio members.

This report brings you up to date with the Transition Team’s work to date. As noted in the report, the next step is for members of the Transition Team to present their report to regional executive boards in March. Feedback from these meetings will be considered by the Transition Team before it releases a final report in early April.
Regional Transition Planning Committee (Transition Team)

Report of Meetings Held February 5, February 17 and March 1, 2010

Single administrative entity

The six regional library systems will be consolidated into a single administrative entity called the Massachusetts Library System (MLS). MLS will operate from two sites in FY2011: the current home of the Metrowest Region in Waltham and the current home of the Western Region in Whately. Both sites are temporary pending the needs of MLS.


MLS will have a staff of about 22 FTE in FY2011 (a reduction from about 45 in FY2010). MLS will have an executive director, an assistant director, and a business manager. There will be 8-10 professional advisory positions responsible for continuing education and advisory services in the areas of library management, youth services, technology and MassCat. There will be 3 administrative support staff, and the current Western Region drivers and sorters will work for MLS in FY2011. Some continuing education and advisory services will be provided under contractual arrangements with outside providers.


Delivery service will be maintained at its FY2010 level for all member libraries in FY2011.

Interlibrary Loan

Mediated interlibrary loan service (for non-automated requests and for libraries that are not members of an automated network) will continue under revised service contracts. Member libraries will package and mail materials being returned to libraries outside of the statewide delivery system.

Continuing Education and Advisory Service

Continuing education and advisory service will continue bearing in mind that there are fewer people providing the service. Trainings will be given at various sites across the state. During FY2011, staff will work from Whately or Waltham or from home in order to sustain the local relationships that are so important to member libraries.


Beginning in FY2012, database licensing will be statewide with close coordination between MLS, MBLC, LLR and other potential partners to license the best possible resources for the total funds available. Since regions renew database licenses at the end of the fiscal year (end of FY2010 for FY2011 use), they will renew their current licenses (as funding permits) this year for use by their current member libraries in FY2011.

Cooperative Purchasing

Statewide cooperative purchasing contracts for materials and supplies will be in place for FY2011 and will be continued.

Summer Reading

The statewide summer reading program is ready for summer 2010. Beginning with summer 2011, Massachusetts will join with 48 other states in using the national summer reading theme and materials. Member libraries may need to pay for some or all of the materials associated with this program.

Governance and Bylaws

MLS will operate under a governance structure similar to that of the current six regional library systems. MLS will operate under the articles of incorporation and IRS 501(c)(3) status of one of the current nonprofit regions. It will have a council of members that elects members of the executive board and approves an annual plan of service and budget for submission to the Board of Library Commissioners. The executive board will have 15 members elected at-large from the member libraries with provision for representation by type of library, geography of the state, and size of library. Board members will serve three year terms with a two consecutive term limit. A representative of the MBLC and LLR will serve as ex officio non-voting members.

During the transition from the six regions to MLS, a transition board will be designated by appointment of two members from each existing regional board and the designation of 3 additional members by the new board to balance library types, geography and size.

Next Steps

Members of the Transition Team will be presenting their report to regional executive boards in March. Feedback from these meetings will be considered by the Transition Team before it releases a final report in early April.

Reported by: Rob Maier for the Regional Transition Planning Committee

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