Help Improve Digital Access for All Massachusetts Residents
When you fill out the short, 5-minute survey, your input will help the State make sure that everyone can have access to high-quality and affordable internet service, devices, skills training, and digital support. The survey is completely anonymous. MBI collects demographic information to make sure all neighborhoods, towns, cities and demographic groups across the Commonwealth are represented, and to enable municipal planning efforts as well as statewide planning. Fill out the survey at this link: https://made.civilspace.io/en/projects/ma-digital-equity/engagements/ma-sdep-public-survey/sections/1
SAILS membership votes to support the Joint Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Censorship
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), The Massachusetts Library Association (MLA), The Massachusetts Library System (MLS), and The Massachusetts School Library Association (MSLA) support library staff’s efforts to ensure free, equal, and open access to information, guaranteed to everyone regardless of age or citizenship status, under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. To view the statement in its entirety, visit: https://mblc.state.ma.us/censorship-freedom/joint-statement.php
Book challenges in Massachusetts’ school and public libraries have quadrupled in just one year*, mirroring the surge the American Library Association has reported nationwide. Challenges here reflect a national agenda that targets specific members of our communities including LGBTQ+ individuals and people of color.
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), The Massachusetts Library Association (MLA), The Massachusetts Library System (MLS), and The Massachusetts School Library Association (MSLA) support library staff’s efforts to ensure free, equal, and open access to information, guaranteed to everyone regardless of age or citizenship status, under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. We oppose censorship and intolerance, uphold the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, and affirm:
Massachusetts public library staff are acting in accordance with state law chapter 78, section 33 when they develop collections that reflect the breadth of the human experience, which is both diverse and interconnected. The law states, “The board of trustees of a free public library in any city or town… shall establish a written policy for the selection of library materials and the use of materials and facilities in accordance with standards adopted by the American Library Association.”
Massachusetts public library staff cannot be dismissed for providing diverse library collections. State law Chapter 78, section 33 states, “No employee shall be dismissed for the selection of library materials when the selection is made in good faith and in accordance with the approved policy adopted pursuant to the provisions of this section.”
Massachusetts librarians, are professionals and educators, many of whom have master’s degrees in library and information science. They are parents, former students, neighbors, teachers, and contributing members of our communities. They include people who identify as LGBTQ+ and as people of color working for inclusion to ensure all people feel seen and heard.
Licensed school library teachers match students with age-appropriate materials to foster the love of reading and instill curiosity for academic learning. Important, since reading ability is linked to high school graduation rates*++.
Attacks on members of our communities, targeted at marginalized peoples, are more than book challenges. They are acts of intolerance and exclusion intended to silence diverse voices and views, while holding fast to homogenous viewpoints by historically dominant voices. These acts jeopardize everyone’s access to learn from different perspectives and limit the opportunities available for those isolated in their experience to realize they are not alone. **
In Massachusetts we have a history of uniting behind what we know is right. Massachusetts was first in the nation to offer free library services to all. Today our libraries fulfill a vision spelled out in our state constitution, “Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people, being necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties; and as these depend on spreading the opportunities and advantages of education in the various parts of the country, and among the different orders of the people.”
There is a small chance a recent update to fix a bug in Libby, will prompt some of you to re-validate your library accounts in Libby. Please see these instructions on how to remove a card or validate a card in libby. If you need help, please contact your library and they'll be happy to help.
When we start anonymizing your pins/passwords on October 6th, if you forget your password, you'll have two options. If you have an email address in your library account, you can go to our password reset link, and request a new password. If you don't have an email address in your library account, you'll need to get in touch with your library so they can reset it to the last four digits of the phone number in your record.
As of October 6th, library staff will not have access to view your password.
If you add your email to your account, you'll be able to go to the password reset link and create a new password, which is advisable. At that point, only you will know your password to access your library account. So be sure to ask your library to put your email in your account. Then you'll be sure to have 24/7 access to the system.
We have made sure to modify our curated collections to reflect English titles so as not to overwhelm them with the new content. However, if you are used to searching in Libby or OverDrive simply by browsing “ebook” or “audiobook” for example, and you do not want titles in languages other than English to show up in your results, you will need to modify your preferences. If you are using the Libby app, this is a one time change that will prevent any content other than English from showing up for them. Here’s how:
Search for anything in the search bar.
On the results page you will see a circle with a + next to “Preferences”. Click on it.
The options for all of the different preferences will pop up.
Click on language.
Make sure to click “Apply Preferences” or it won’t save.
Search again and notice the number in a white circle next to the word “Preferences”. That means you have successfully saved that preference (in addition to any other preferences you may have already saved).
In the OverDrive app, you will need to make this change each time you search. Here’s how:
Click on the search bar.
Underneath the search bar an “Advanced” option will appear. Click on it.
In the Advanced Search screen, scroll down to the language menu.
Under languages, select “English” and then “done”.
This search will only return titles in English.
To confirm this or to view another way to filter searches you can see a drop down menu labeled “Filters”. This will include the language filter and should show you anything you have set as a filter for your search.
Today we are working to turn on a new feature in Enterprise. It gives an extra way to view what material formats are available on a title. Here is a pdf explaining what to expect. This is available only in Enterprise, not on the app or in the mobile version. This is something that's been requested and we'll certainly update if it becomes available.
When a hold becomes available for you, you'll receive an email and a notification in your library's OverDrive collection. You have three days to borrow the hold or have it delivered later if you're not ready to read it.
Delivering a hold later means you stay at the front of the wait list, but pass the current copy to the next person in line.