About Us

Welcome to the Massachusetts Black Librarians Network (MBLN) Website

MBLN members

The Massachusetts Black Librarians Caucus, under the leadership of Patricia Wilson, was
organized in the Fall of 1978 as a support group of library professionals and library assistants from diverse backgrounds: academic, public, private and public schools, corporate and other special libraries. On December 6, 1980, a membership tea was held at Simmons College to
acquaint prospective members with the history of the Black Caucus of the American Library
Association (ALA) and the proposed activities of the Massachusetts Black Librarians Caucus.

In 1993, the name of the group was changed to the Massachusetts Black Librarians Network (MBLN). MBLN promotes awareness of library services within the African-American community; encourages and supports students who are preparing for the profession, through scholarships and educational meetings; exchanges and shares ideas; presents book festivals and programs by storytellers, authors, academicians, researchers, and other persons of interest.

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MBLN remembers Dr. Berthe Gaines (1924-2015) Obituary

Dr. Gaines was the first African-American woman to serve on the Boston Public Library (BPL) Board of Trustees. A memorial service was held on Friday, June 19 at the BPL.

Left to right: Ambassador Ray Flynn, MBLN Secretary Em Claire Knowles, BPL President Amy Ryan

Left to right: Ambassador Ray Flynn, MBLN Secretary Em Claire Knowles, BPL President Amy Ryan

Ray Flynn, Em Claire Knowles, and Amy Ryan are standing near the BPL proclamation for Dr. Berthe Gaines who passed away on May 16, 2015.  Dr. Gaines was appointed to the BPL Board of Trustees in 1984 by former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn.

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MBLN makes national news! Read our story that starts on page 7 in the News Magazine
of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA).

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On May 9, 2015 MBLN co-sponsored the Youth Summit, My Life Matters, with The Boston Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Black youth from the Greater Boston area gathered to go to workshops on attending college, fitness & wellness, financial management, and developing healthy relationships.

MBLN-event

Left to right: Arlyne Jackson, Head of Boston University’s Business Library, and Em Claire Knowles, Assistant Dean for Student Services at Simmons’ School of Library and Information Science, admire the Youth Summit poster.