State Aid to Public Libraries & ARIS Web Blog

Does [fill in the blank] count as a materials expenditure and where do I report it on the ARIS form??

We get a lot of questions  as to whether this resource or that resource counts towards the materials expenditure requirement used to factor State Aid to Public Libraries. As we receive items from libraries around the state, Dianne and I have been 1) working to clarify whether the resource is or is not a materials expenditure and 2) determine where they best fit into the ARIS Holdings, ARIS Circulations and Financial Report categories.

Please Note: Not all the resources listed below count as a material expenditure and this list will be in effect beginning in 2013.

I’ve attached the list as an Excel file below.

Electronic Resources and Material Expenditure Requirement (Excel file)

Please let Liz Babbitt, liz.babbitt@state.ma.us (617)725-1860 x227  know if you have questions about these or other resources. I would be happy to add to the list.

This post was written by lbabbitt on June 10, 2013

Does it really take three years to get re-certified in the State Aid program?

We are sometimes asked if it takes three years to get re-certified in the State Aid program.

I am not quite certain where this time table originated, but I imagine it has something to do with the calculation of the Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR) — the average of the prior three municipal appropriations to the library, plus 2 1/2 percent.

The answer to how long it takes to become certified again after lapsing depends on the reason that the municipality and its library were not certified as meeting the statutory and regulatory requirements in the State Aid program, and for how long.

  • If a library closes due to a decimated or eliminated budget from the city or town and is certified in the State Aid program at the time, the municipality is, as of the date of the closing of the library, decertified in the program.  The library must then be open a full fiscal year (assuming it meets all of the other requirements) before being eligible to again apply for State Aid to Public Libraries.  So, depending on the timing and duration of the closure, it could be 1 or more years.
  • If a library applies for a waiver of the MAR and is denied by the Board of Library Commissioners, the municipality and its library will not be certified as of the date of denial (the February Board meeting).  The library will be eligible to apply for State Aid in the next fiscal year as long as the other requirements are being met.  If a waiver of the MAR is again applied for, that application will be assessed by the Board at their January meeting and an action taken at their February board meeting.  If no MAR waiver is needed, the municipality and its library could be certified as soon as the first Board meeting at which municipalities are certified, November.

So, as you can see, it really depends on the reason for the loss of certification in the State Aid to Public Libraries program.

Please feel free to contact Dianne Carty or Liz Babbitt with any questions regarding the State Aid to Public Libraries Program.

This post was written by dcarty on March 15, 2013

If my library receives a waiver of the MAR, are we certified?

This is another oft asked question.

The short answer is, yes.

The waiver of the Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR) is exactly that, a waiver of that statutory requirement for the current fiscal year within the guidelines approved by the Board of Library Commissioners, see  Determining Eligibility for a Waiver of the Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR) Policy for the appropriate fiscal year, on the agency website page: Policies of the State Aid Program.

When the Board of Library Commissioners votes to approve waivers of the MAR (annually at their January Board meeting), the municipalities are then certified as meeting the statutory and regulatory requirements of the State Aid to Public Libraries program and awarded state aid to public libraries.

 

This post was written by dcarty on March 15, 2013

Why is the Municipal Appropriation Requirement an increase of 2 1/2% over the prior year?

Another point of confusion for some librarians.  The Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR) is not an increase of 2 1/2% over the prior year’s budget.

The statutory Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR) for the State Aid to Public Libraries Program is calculated as follows:

  • the prior 3 fiscal years’ appropriations to the library for operating (capital has always been excluded) are added together
  • the average of this sum is taken
  • the average is then multiplied by 1.025 to arrive at 2 1/2% over the three year average

Therefore, for each city and town the MAR is individualized and based on historical funding by the municipality for the provision of library services to the residents of the community.  It does not require a 2 1/2% increase over the prior year’s appropriation.

This post was written by dcarty on March 15, 2013

State Aid Awards–Actual versus Cherry Sheet

There are three awards that make up state aid to public libraries, Library Incentive Grant (LIG), Municipal Equalization Grant (MEG) and Non Resident Circulation Offset (NRC).

Each award has a different disbursement calculation:

  • The Library Incentive Grant is a straight per capita award
  • The Municipal Equalization Grant is based on the lottery formula

MEG  =   [( X/Y *  X ) /   ∑   ( X/Y * X)]  * SEG

MEG     = Municipal Equalization Grant for any given municipality
X          = municipal population as percent of state population
Y          = Municipal Equalized Valuation as percent of statewide equalization
∑          = sum of
SEG     = statewide equalization grant (total funds available for distribution)
For more details please see :  Municipal Equalization Grant (MEG) Disbursement Formula -Definition and formula of MEG  on http://mblc.state.ma.us/grants/state_aid/faqs/index.php

 

  • The Nonresident Offset is based on the number of eligible non-resident transactions reported by libraries on the ARIS, resulting in a per transaction amount.  Because the CSE is forward looking, the per transaction amount from the prior year award is used.

Each year either the population estimate or actual census is used.  Each year the population and equalized valuation (EQV) can change.  Each year the number of nonresident transactions that are reported does change and consequently the per transaction amount.  The MBLC is required to use the population and EQV numbers released by the DOR.

For FY2013 CSE, the 2010 census and the 2010 EQV was used.  For FY2014 CSE, the 2010 census and the 2012 EQV was used.  For FY2013 CSE, $0.1279 per NRC transaction  and for FY2014 CSE, $0.1261 per NRC transaction was used.

In October of each year, the NRC per transaction amount is updated from the CSE amount after the ARIS  nonresident data is verified. When a municipality and its library are certified, the actual award based on the three disbursement formulas is made and if any money is left in the state aid pot at the end of the round, it is redistributed to certified municipalities and their libraries.  For the last several years, the agency has divided each state aid payment into two based on the periodic allotment of state aid given to the MBLC.  The first is sent after the municipality and its library are first certified and the second is sent when we receive the rest of our allotment, usually in April.

Thus, not only will the CSE vary from year to year, but the actual award will vary from the CSE.  That is why the term ‘cherry sheet estimate’ is used.

 

This post was written by dcarty on January 30, 2013

 
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