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Holy Cross, City of Worcester and Worcester Public Library Foundation Introduce Library Express

For Immediate Release: 5/1/2012 4:24 pm

Worcester, MA (May 1, 2012) - At the College of the Holy Cross, the Worcester Public Library Foundation today unveiled the newly named Library Express—a state-of-the-art, traveling library, which will be affectionately known as “Libby,” and is slated to start making the rounds in Worcester later this month.

Joining representatives from the College, the City of Worcester, and the Worcester Public Library Foundation for the announcement were the four Worcester Public Schools students who submitted the winning entries in the city-wide contest to name the Worcester Public Library’s newest resource: sixth graders Ricardo Figueroa from Goddard School of Science and Technology; John Guachichula from Belmont Street Community School; and Patson Pierre from Seven Hills Charter School, all of whom submitted Library Express, as well as Jake Ford from Thorndyke Road School, who submitted “Libby.”

Jacqueline Peterson, Holy Cross’ vice president for student affairs and dean of students, and City Manager Michael V. O’Brien presided at the official unveiling and announcement. The College presented each of the sixth-grade winners with a Kindle for being selected from among 350 entries by a panel of judges from the City, Worcester Public Library Board, Holy Cross, Telegram & Gazette, Worcester Public Schools, and Worcester Public Library Foundation. All students who participated in the naming contest will receive a pair of tickets to a Holy Cross football game.

Also in attendance were Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty; Leslie Fish, president of the Board of Trustees of the Worcester Public Library Foundation; Kevin Dowd, President of the Board of Directors of the Worcester Public Library; Head Librarian Mark Contois; and Superintendent Melinda Boone.

“As President of Holy Cross—and a new resident of Worcester—I am thrilled that this partnership with the City and the Worcester Public Library has come to fruition,” said Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., president of the College, who took office in January. “The new mobile library is not only in keeping with our mission as an educational institution committed to our community, it is also the successful result of a shared vision. I am proud Holy Cross is involved in this city-wide effort to create a resource designed to develop and foster a lifelong love of reading and learning.”

“This is not your parent’s bookmobile—it’s a multi-media, mobile library of the future, seamlessly integrated into the 21st-century world of learning,” said Manager O’Brien. “It is connected to all other library resources via the Internet—patrons can check-out a half million items from our extensive collection and more than nine million from the region. Students can research on board via touch screen computers, with easy access from anywhere in the city. I am grateful to all those involved in helping to make this a reality, especially the College of the Holy Cross and the Worcester Public Library Foundation.”

The unveiling came just weeks after the College and the City announced a 5-year partnership to fund an educational, multi-media mobile library and resource center for the Worcester Public Library. As part of the agreement, Holy Cross will contribute $80,000 annually for the next five years, at which time the partnership will be evaluated. Holy Cross funds will go toward annual on-going costs, including staffing, fuel, insurance and maintenance. The City has funded one-time costs related to books, technology, and other resources to assist in the start-up of the operation from a dedicated donor account for Library purposes only.

“The collaboration and public-private partnership between the City of Worcester and Holy Cross is delivering innovative, 21st-century technology that will further engage students and improve their learning experiences beyond the classroom,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “With this state-of-the-art library mobile, all students in the city will have access to valuable resources and tools to benefit their education today and in the future.”

Beginning later this month, Library Express—which is stocked with an extensive collection of books and resources and equipped with state-of-the-art technology—will operate on a summer schedule, offering door-to-door service, allowing patrons to check out materials, research information, and take part in programming and activities. The first four stops will be at the schools of the sixth grade contest winners.

“The Worcester Public Library Foundation is grateful not only to the College of the Holy Cross but also to all those in the city who are willing to partner with us to bring mobile library services, through the Library Express, to the citizens of Worcester,” said Fish. “Together we can make easy access available to all.”

Following the unveiling, the Library Express will travel to City Hall and the College will be recognized for its support of the mobile library at City Council’s regularly scheduled meeting. Mayor Petty and members of the City Council will present Fr. Boroughs with a proclamation of thanks for Holy Cross’ ongoing commitment to supporting the City of Worcester. To honor the occasion the Holy Cross flag flew over City Hall throughout the day.

“We are very grateful to the College of the Holy Cross for making this opportunity available to the community, especially our students, and bringing the great resources of the Worcester Public Library to every neighborhood in our City,” said Mayor Petty. “Reading gives you knowledge and knowledge gives you confidence, confidence builds self-esteem and programs and collaborations like this directly impact and improve the lives of young people in our City.”

In addition to the mobile library partnership, the College has made numerous other contributions to the City, including supporting 2011 summer youth programs; providing Fitton Field to the Worcester Tornadoes; and committing $25,000 in annual support for Hanover Theatre.

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