State Aid to Public Libraries

State Aid to Public Libraries is an annual, voluntary program administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

The purpose of State Aid to Public Libraries is:

  • to encourage municipalities to support and improve public library service
  • to encourage reciprocal resource sharing among libraries across Massachusetts
  • to compensate for disparities among municipal funding capacities
  • to offset additional costs to municipalities whose libraries circulate materials to patrons from other certified Massachusetts municipalities

Requirements

A municipality and its library must be certified by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners as meeting statutory and regulatory requirements to receive State Aid to Public Libraries.

To be certified each fiscal year, a municipality and its library must:

Funding

State Aid to Public Libraries funding is appropriated annually to the MBLC by the legislature. Current budget language.

Disbursement of State Aid to Public Libraries Awards

After a municipality is certified to receive State Aid to Public Libraries, the agency disburses 3 awards in several payments:

  • Library Incentive Grant (LIG) - disbursed to all certified municipalities based on population. Encourages municipalities to support and improve public library service.
  • Municipal Equalization Grant (MEG) - disbursed to all certified municipalities using a calculation based on the state lottery formula. Compensates for disparities among municipal funding capacities.
  • Nonresident Circulation Offset (NRC) - disbursed to offset additional costs to municipalities whose libraries circulate materials to patrons from other certified Massachusetts municipalities.

Additional funds, if available, are distributed by the end of the fourth quarter of the fiscal year.

Calendar

June 2015 ARIS workshops
July 1, 2015 Online ARIS form opens.
Mid-August 2015 State Aid to Public Libraries packet of required print forms sent to libraries.
August 10, 2015 Online submission of the Financial Report opens.
August 21, 2015 Online submission of the Annual Report Information Survey (ARIS) closes.
September 2015 State Aid workshops
October 9, 2015 Online submission of Financial Report closes.
State Aid Application & Compliance Form due (Print form).
MAR petition due, if necessary (Print form).
November 5, 2015 First group of municipalities meeting requirements are presented to the Board and state aid awards are made.
November 13, 2015 Four MAR Waiver application documents due:
  1. FY 2015/FY 2016 Disproportionate Cut Worksheet.
  2. Municipal budget documentation for FY 2015 and FY 2016 that shows the appropriation to each municipal department .
  3. Supporting letters/statements from library.
  4. Supporting letters/statements from town.
December 3, 2015 Second group of municipalities meeting requirements are presented to the Board and state aid awards are made.
January 7, 2016 List of Communities Not Certified posted (updated later if MAR waiver applicants are denied certification).
January 7, 2016 FY 2016 MAR waiver applicants are presented to the Board.
February 4, 2016 Board acts on FY 2016 MAR waiver petitions.
March 3, 2016 Board hears any appeals of denial of the FY 2016 MAR.
April 7, 2016 Board acts on any appeals of denial of the FY 2016 MAR.

For more information, please contact Mary Rose Quinn at x220 or Liz Babbitt at x227.

This Web site, and other programs of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, is funded in part with funds from the
Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership and a lifetime of learning.
Page last updated on 04/17/2015