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Legislation Day 09: MSLA Goes to Beacon Hill PDF Print E-mail
by Judi Paradis & Pat Fontes, Advocacy Co-Chairs 

Thursday, April 2, was The Second Annual Joint MLA-MSLA Library Legislative Day.  More than 400 library supporters gathered under the Golden Dome of the State House to promote and lobby for Massachusetts libraries.  MSLA was well represented by 50 Chelmsford students and Valerie Diggs at the MA State Housemembers and supporters and an additional 45 Bookmark Contest winners and their families.  MSLA members attended the presentation of awards in the 2009 Bookmark Contest and a Legislative Briefing by Rob Maier, Director of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and Judi Paradis and Patricia Fontes, MSLA Advocacy Co-Chairs.  Sporting bright green stickers announcing that “Libraries Are an Instrument of Recovery,” MSLA members and their supporters fanned out across the State House to visit the offices of their Representatives and Senators.  The message was simple:  Please ask the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to add a person in the BESE who would be responsible for monitoring and promoting school libraries in Commonwealth’s schools.

During the lunch break in the Hall of Flags, attendees and their guest legislators heard a rousing call for support of all Massachusetts libraries from Rep. Mark Falzone, Chair of the legislature’s Library Caucus. The Massachusetts Library Association’s President, Richard Callaghan, and our own MSLA president Sandy Kelly addressed attendees.  The highlight of the lunch, though, was the heartfelt endorsement of school libraries by Valerie Diggs’s enthusiastic and talented students from Chelmsford High School.  After sharing their experiences with the new Chelmsford H.S. Learning Commons, several students entertained the crowd with an enthusiastic a cappella rendition of “Rockin’ Robin!"

Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in Library Legislative Day.  The contacts that you made at the State House are valuable and they will pay dividends for the future of school libraries in Massachusetts.

Judi Paradis is the Library Teacher in Waltham at the Plympton Elementary School and Pat Fontes is the Library Teacher at the Nashoba Regional High School.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 09 May 2009 )
 

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