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Legislative Agenda FY2021

State Aid to Public Libraries = Local Aid to Libraries

Massachusetts Libraries Board of Library Commissioners Guarantees access to 59 million items from across the state for residents whose library is certified in the program (reciprocal borrowing). Resident borrowing from libraries outside their local community has increased 30% in the last decade.
Massachusetts Libraries Board of Library Commissioners Saves money; for example, Pittsfield residents were able to borrow more than 27,000 items from other libraries because the library is State Aid certified*. If the library had to purchase these items it would cost an estimated $270,000.
Massachusetts Libraries Board of Library Commissioners Can be used in any way that supports library services.**

Reciprocal Borrowing by Municipality

Over the past year, over 7 million items have been shared between libraries in the Commonwealth. With an average item cost of $10, this equates to over $70 million in savings.

7,000,000 Items Borrowed*
$70,000,000 Saved
Decorative map of Massacusetts
over 7 million items shared in 2018*
*Does not include eBooks, audiobooks or other digital downloads.

Why Staying Certified Matters

State Aid Certified? Yes No
Residents have access to:
  • 59 million items from libraries across the state.
  • Resources through Library for the Commonwealth at Boston Public Library.
  • Statewide research databases.
  • Their library’s own collection.
  • Resources through Library for the Commonwealth at Boston Public Library.
  • Statewide research databases.
Municipalities have access to:
  • Millions of dollars in library construction grants through the MBLC’s Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program.
  • Federal grant money for local needs through the MBLC’s Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant Program.
  • The MBLC’s Small Libraries in Networks program which provides libraries that serve small communities (population under 10,000) with funding to support their network memberships.
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Why Staying Certified Matters

If Libraries Are State Aid Certified
Residents have access to:
  • 59 million items from libraries across the state.
  • Resources through Library for the Commonwealth at Boston Public Library.
  • Statewide research databases.
Municipalities have access to:
  • Millions of dollars in library construction grants through the MBLC’s Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program.
  • Federal grant money for local needs through the MBLC’s Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant Program.
  • The MBLC’s Small Libraries in Networks program which provides libraries that serve small communities (population under 10,000) with funding to support their network memberships.
If Libraries Are NOT State Aid Certified
Residents have access to:
  • Their library’s own collection.
  • Resources through Library for the Commonwealth at Boston Public Library.
  • Statewide research databases.
Municipalities have access to:
  • Nothing

Local Burden

Even though public libraries form a statewide network of services for all residents, lack of state aid funding shifts the funding obligation disproportionally onto individual municipalities.

FY2018 Total Operating Income for Massachusetts Libraries

pie-chart Total Appropriated Municipal Income87.51% (up 38% since 2001) Total State Aid Operating Income2.55% (down .5% since 2001) Other Operating Income9.94%

FY2021 MBLC Budget Request

Line Item High FY 2020 FY 2021 Request FY 2021 Increase Over FY 2020
7000-9101 Board of Library Commissioners Current Year $1,322,130 $1,579,876 $257,746
7000-9401 State Aid to Regional Libraries
(Massachusetts Library System - MLS)
(Library for the Commonwealth at Boston Public Library- LFC)
$17,623,954 (FY 2002) $11,516,000 $11,861,480 $345,480
7000-9402 Talking Book Library (Worcester) Current Year $468,217 $482,264 $14,047
7000-9406 Talking Book & Machine Lending (Perkins) Current Year $2,665,800 $2,745,774 $79,974
7000-9501 State Aid to Public Libraries $9,989,844 (FY 2009) $9,901,081* (plus an additional $158,000 in earmarks) $12,000,000 $2,098,919
7000-9506 Library Technology & Resource Sharing (Library Networks) $4,420,235 (FY 2001) $4,259,000 $4,386,770 $127,770
7000-9508 Mass. Center for the Book Current Year $200,000 $225,000 $25,000
Totals $30,490,228 $33,281,164 $2,948,936
*Plus an additional $158,000 in earmarks

The Voice of Our Libraries:

Learn how State Aid impacts libraries across the Commonwealth.