Fact Sheet

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

Library Services & Technology Act Federal Program for Libraries


The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is a State Agency authorized to administer a $3.2 million federal program under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). Enacted in 1996, LSTA is a formula-based program that makes an allotment to each state based on population and the level of federal appropriation. This state-based program, reauthorized in 2010, is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and represents an opportunity for greater flexibility in state efforts to improve library services provided by all types of libraries. States must meet the matching and maintenance of effort requirements of the legislation, as well as submit a five-year plan for administering the program.


The purpose of LSTA is to:

  1. Consolidate Federal library service programs;
  2. Promote improvement in library services in all types of libraries in order to better serve the people of the United States;
  3. Facilitate access to resources in all types of libraries for the purpose of cultivating an educated and informed citizenry;
  4. Encourage resource sharing among all types of libraries for the purpose of achieving economical and efficient delivery of library services to the public;
  5. Promote literacy, education, and lifelong learning and to enhance and expand the services and resources provided by libraries, including those services and resources relating to workforce development, 21st century skills and digital literacy skills;
  6. Enhance the skills of the current library workforce and to recruit future professionals;
  7. Ensure preservation of knowledge and library collections in all formats and to enable libraries to serve their communities during disasters;
  8. Enhance the role of libraries within the information infrastructure of the U.S. to support research, education, and innovation;
  9. Promote library services that provide users with access to  information.


In order to meet the requirements of the legislation, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must submit a plan that verifies the MBLC as the officially designated State library administrative agency with the fiscal and legal authority and capability to administer all aspects of this program. The plan must establish goals and specify priorities consistent with the purposes of the legislation. It must also describe activities consistent with these goals, the procedures to be used to carry them out, the methodology for evaluating the success of these activities in reaching the goals, a plan for administering the program, and the procedures to be used to involve libraries and library users throughout the state in policy decisions. The current plan, the Massachusetts Long-Range Plan, 2013-2017, was approved by the IMLS.

Goals for the Massachusetts program are:

  • Support learners of all ages with their individual educational and learning goals.
  • Improve access to library services and resources for all residents of the Commonwealth.
  • Enhance the quality of library services offered to residents of the Commonwealth.


The Federal Library Services and Technology Act is authorized by P.L. 111-340.


98 North Washington St., Suite 401 • Boston, MA 02114 • 617-725-1860 • 800-952-7403 (in-state only) • fax: 617-725-0140 • mass.gov/mblc
Page last updated on 09/18/2015