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Vilas Novas, Jessica

Owner & Principal Consultant / Library Commissioner

JVN Management Solutions LLC

The founder and principal consultant of JVN Management Solutions LLC which provides leadership and management guidance to local organizations and small businesses, Jessica is committed to addressing local community needs and closing equity gaps. During her five years as library director in Lawrence she upgraded the physical space of the library and worked to make the library a place where everyone felt welcomed. Capital projects improved accessibility, the library went fine-free, budget increases aided in the creation of new positions, and weekend hours at the main branch were restored. Through active fundraising, her team developed innovative programs to address health literacy, citizenship access, and teen engagement.

Jessica is an active member of the Friends of the Lawrence Public Library and previously served on the Executive Board of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. As a former member of the MBLC’s State Advisory Council on Libraries (SACL), she worked with MBLC staff and other SACL members to create grant opportunities, evaluate grant applications and make funding recommendations. On the MBLC’s Public Relations Advisory Committee, she helped shape statewide campaigns to promote library services and bring new users to libraries.

A community builder and activist, Jessica recently served as a board member at MASSCreative which advocates for a well-resourced and equitable creative sector that is essential to the economic and civic vibrancy of Massachusetts; she is an advisor for the Essex County Community Foundation’s digital equity coalition and the Greater Lawrence Community Fund; as well as the New England Foundation for the Arts’s Public Arts for Spatial Justice grant program. She is also former board president of Elevated Thought Inc, an art and social justice organization based in Lawrence and the founder of the intergenerational writing program, The Common Sage.

Jessica was appointed in 2022 by Governor Charlie Baker to serve on the nine-member Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). The MBLC is responsible for library services across the Commonwealth including the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program, federal Library Services and Technology Act grants, regional library services, and online statewide resources. With this appointment, Jessica became the first Latina to serve on the MBLC which was established in 1890.

Jessica graduated with an M.Ed in Community Engagement from Merrimack College. She received her MLIS from Simmons College, and has a Bachelor of Science from Northeastern University. She earned a Certificate in Social Impact Management from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice, in affiliation with Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life.

Vilas Novas, Jessica
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