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Fenway Library Organization: About

About the Fenway Library Organization


Using the power of partnership to nurture growth and innovation in small to medium-sized academic and special libraries.


To be recognized as an innovative collaborative enabling member libraries to realize their potential in service to their communities.


  • Social Justice

We engage a social justice framework to guide decision-making which demonstrates diversity, equity, and inclusion for our libraries, our patrons, and our profession.

  • Sustainability

We invest in library services and initiatives which develop potential and foster stability for member libraries.

  • Community

We build collaborative and transparent processes to ensure opportunities for participation and reciprocity in resource sharing, professional development, and expertise.

  • Advocacy

We promote the value of FLO and expand its capabilities by advancing its priorities, highlighting its successes, and influencing professional practice.

  • Innovation

We explore and adopt creative services, technologies, and solutions to improve library operations and patron experiences.


Areas of Impact

  • Resource Sharing

FLO provides a combined database with the holdings and circulation status of over 900,000 books and other materials from member libraries. Fast and economical access to the books themselves is provided through the Massachusetts Library System delivery system.

  • Funding

FLO is primarily funded through membership fees and receives significant support through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC).

  • Economy of Size

FLO costs less than it would to mount a standalone system in each library. It affords individual libraries the benefit of highly qualified technical staff to run the system and be available to consult on automation issues in member libraries. Certain expenses, such as authority work done by a commercial vendor, could not be borne by each of the ten libraries separately. It provides the opportunity to take advantage of new technologies such as e-books and digital repositories at a greatly reduced cost.

  • Technical Consulting

Shared learning, responsibility, and decision-making on such complex issues and processes as automation, quality control, journal access, and disaster planning are done with greater efficiency in the consortial setting.

  • Staff Development

Professional and support level staff are constantly challenged and educated by their interactions with peers in the FLO consortium. Operational committees provide opportunities for staff to participate and grow in their work. FLO also offers professional development opportunities via workshops sponsored by Colleges of the Fenway. 

  • Statewide Recognition

FLO provides to all its members the benefit of statewide recognition and allows the separate institutions to speak with one voice in statewide planning.