Shuttered Parlin and Shute libraries lag behind in community service

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The Shute Memorial Library. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

No local programs during pandemic

By JOSH RESNEK

Library buildings throughout the state are closed, but library services are still running – but not at Everett’s two public libraries.

The Parlin and Shute libraries have been rendered useless and shut down entirely because of the Coronavirus crisis.

The failure to hire a certified librarian to head the institutions is also believed to be part of the problem with a lack of direction from the library’s present leadership contributing to the problem as well.

In many other communities throughout the state, public libraries are being used in a variety of creative ways with community programming to ensure that residents can still participate in educational and entertaining programs while the stay-at-home order and social distancing are in place.

According to the Massachusetts Library Association, more than 300 libraries across the state are turning to virtual library services to their patrons.

For instance, a recent MBLC Blog posted, “Don’t get bored: Seven things for North Andoverites to try online via Stevens Memorial Library.”

The Lawrence Eagle Tribune recently published and article entitled “Local libraries close, but reading resources continue.” The Tewksbury Public Library is hosting several virtual events including an SBA workshop for small business owners and a virtual author visit. Continue reading Shuttered Parlin and Shute libraries lag behind in community service

Library closures highlight city disorganization in face of virus

A good read can help those stuck inside

By Josh Resnek

Everett’s public libraries are closed.

At times like these libraries are more important to the well being of residents and their children than during the best of times.

Libraries serve as disseminators of accurate information about whatever is affecting the city or town where they are located.

The Everett Public Library has access to up to date hard medical data and up t date peer reviews of medical journals which residents could access from their homes.

Educational resources are also abundant and can be accessed from home as well.

With all the public schools now closed, the importance of the public libraries represents a vital connection for parents to offer their children educational opportunities.

Continue reading Library closures highlight city disorganization in face of virus

Library mulls donation; But who’s in charge?

By Josh Resnek

After receiving a $400,000 windfall from a former Everett resident who bequeathed the money to the Parlin Library, the question remains, who will spend it and how will it be doled out?

The mayor taking credit for the donation is fake news, as the donation was known to be coming by most of the former library officials and its trustees for more than a year – long before the mayor removed the chief librarian and made appointments of family members and a Wellness Center employee accused of sexual harassment to the Board of Trustees in order to snuff out the library’s independence and to bring it under mayoral rule.

The library is not run by a certified librarian.

It is run by Assistant City Solicitor Matt Lattanzi. “I’ve never been inside a library,” the mayor has been famously quoted as saying.

Indeed.

He has about as much interest in the public library system here as he does in women’s rights, claim those who know him well.

Under the mayor’s rule, Trustees now receive a stipend.

Trustees refused to do so in the past.

Two Trustees are the mayor’s family or related to his family.

Another Trustee, an employee of the city at the Wellness Center, has recently resigned.

Questions have arisen about the legality of the mayor appointing family members and city employees to serve as Trustees, that it might tend to create a conflict of interest.

Continue reading Library mulls donation; But who’s in charge?

Attorney Matthew Lattanzi On the Rise at City Hall

By Josh Resnek

First, the mayor appointed young Matt Lattanzi as the assistant city solicitor.

Then, he made Lattanzi the chief administrator at the Parlin Library, after the city council went along with his directive to restructure the library system.

Now, in quick succession, the mayor has appointed Lattanzi as a member of his executive senior staff, according to a release issued by the mayor’s office last week.

What exact role he will play as a senior executive staff member remains to be seen but he is a step again closer to the mayor.

Continue reading Attorney Matthew Lattanzi On the Rise at City Hall

The MBLC Welcomes Commissioner Stacy DeBole

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The MBLC Welcomes Commissioner Stacy Boyle. 

Special to the Leader Herald

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is pleased to welcome Stacy DeBole of Swampscott, who has been appointed by Governor Charles D. Baker to serve on the nine-member board.

“I am excited to serve as a Commissioner to continue my work with libraries statewide” said Mrs. DeBole. “Having worked directly with the board as a public library director, I know the challenges facing libraries and the great work that is done by the MBLC and I am excited to get started.”

Commissioner DeBole has had an extensive library career that spans public, academic and special libraries, including the Suffolk University Library, the New England School of Law Library, and the Salem State University Library. Most recently she was director of the Everett Public Library where she actively participated in grant opportunities offered by the MBLC, including Library Services and Technology Act grants for Teens and Tweens and Preservation, and State Aid to Public Libraries grants. She called these grants “game changers for the community.”

Continue reading The MBLC Welcomes Commissioner Stacy DeBole