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Legislative Agenda FY2022

Libraries rebuild lives and communities

Rebuilding after the pandemic isn’t simply a matter of putting back what was once there. We’ve learned “what was there” wasn’t working for everybody. Libraries as centers of community and civic engagement will help all residents reach beyond systemic inequities and help breathe life back into shuttered communities.

State Aid to Public Libraries, line 7000-9501, is flexible funding that has helped reinvent libraries so that residents never lost access to services they depend on.

Our libraries:

Are reliable and trustworthy.

Millions of people use and trust their local library, making libraries an ideal partner for sharing fact-based information--including about vaccines-- with Massachusetts residents.

Provide digital access for learning and working.

Many libraries lend laptops and WIFI hotspots and provide WIFI that goes beyond the library doors. When indoor library internet use isn’t possible, library picnic tables and parking lots often fill up—with parents working in the front seat of the car and kids in the back doing schoolwork. School library teachers utilize MBLC-funded online resources to support both in-person and virtual curricula with students and faculty.

View Massachusetts Libraries Wifi Map

Close the education gap.

More than 430,000 people participated in statewide summer reading programs proven to help kids maintain academic skills in 2020. In the wake of the pandemic, school and public librarians are working to close the early literacy gap, a critical predictor of future academic success.

Offer a hand up.

Libraries are hosting resume workshops, job fairs, and offer resources to help people find jobs or transition to new careers. Small businesses and entrepreneurs can attend library programs geared to assist them. Especially in tough times, free movies, books, eBooks, audiobooks, and streaming services help people save money.

Combat isolation and loneliness.

Even when we can’t be together, libraries are bringing people together. At virtual events people are making new friends, seeing old friends and participating in library programs anywhere in the state. While curbside service and outdoor programs are keeping people connected for now, we’re looking forward to in-person services when safety permits.

FY2022 MBLC Budget Request

Line Item Number and Name FY 2020 FY 2021 FY 2022 Legislative Agenda FY 2022 Increase Over FY 2021
7000-9101 Board of Library Commissioners $1,322,130 $1,579,876 $1,627,272 $47,396
7000-9401 State Aid to Regional Libraries
(Massachusetts Library System &
Library for the Commonwealth)
$11,516,000 $12,516,000 $12,891,480 $375,480
7000-9402 Talking Book Library (Worcester) $468,217 $482,264 $496,732 $14,468
7000-9406 Talking Book & Machine Lending (Perkins) $2,665,800 $2,745,774 $2,828,147 $82,373
7000-9501 State Aid to Public Libraries $10,059,081 $12,000,000 $13,000,000 $1,000,000
7000-9506 Library Technology & Resource Sharing $4,259,000 $4,386,770 $4,518,373 $131,603
7000-9508 Mass. Center for the Book $200,000 $225,000 $300,000 $75,000
Totals $20,500,228 $33,935,684 $35,662,004 $1,726,320