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MBLC Celebrates 125 Years


Massachusetts Friends of the Library logo

Massachusetts Friends of the Library organization logo1

In 1992: Massachusetts Friends of Libraries (MFOL) held their first meeting on October 3, 1992 at South Hadley Public Library. Greg Shesko was the acting chair of the organization.1

TODAY: There are an estimated 60,000 friends of public libraries in Massachusetts, and friends groups have become one of the most important library advocate organizations. Greg Shesko is now the current chair of the MBLC, and current MFOL president Alice Welch is also a commissioner.

Desktop computer photo

1990s computer terminal

Also in 1992: MBLC funds were used "to support the electronic linking of small libraries to the networks so that small libraries may search the network's database using a microcomputer and modem to locate materials needed by their patrons."3
TODAY: The MBLC's Small Libraries in Networks (SLIN) grants help 146 libraries pay for their membership in automated library networks.

Also in 1992: Keith Fiels was named director of the MBLC.1
TODAY: Keith Fiels is the executive director of the American Library Association.4

What else happened in 1992?

  • Bush and Yeltsin proclaimed a formal end to the Cold War on February 1.5
  • Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show for the last time. He had ruled late night television for 20 years.5
  • Compact discs surpassed cassette tapes as the preferred medium for recorded music.5
  • Rioting broke out in Los Angeles following the acquittal of four white police officers accused of beating black motorist Rodney King.5

1. MBLC Notes, 1992.
2. Image courtesy of Swathmore Department of Computer Science.
3. 103rd Annual Report of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, 1992.
4. Keith Michael Fiels - Wikipedia entry [link].
5. [link].