State Aid Laws, Regulations, and Budget Language

Massachusetts General Laws and Regulations

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners administers State Aid to Public Libraries.

State Aid awards are made to municipalities whose public libraries meet statutory and regulatory requirements that support Minimum Standards of Free Public Library Service (MGL c.78, ss.19A and 19B; 605 CMR 4.00).

Minimum Requirements & Standards of Free Public Library Service

  1. Comply with Municipal Appropriation Requirement in current year [MGL c. 78, s.19A]  
  2. Comply with following Minimum Standards during prior year [MGL c. 78, s. 19B (1-6)]
    1. Open to all residents of the Commonwealth [605 CMR 4.01 (1)]
    2. Make No Charge for Normal Library Services [605 CMR 4.01 (2)]
    3. Be Kept Open a Minimum Number of Hours Per Week [605 CMR 4.01 (3)]
    4. Employ trained library personnel [605 CMR 4.01 (4)]
      1. Director Personnel Requirements in Populations under 10,000
      2. Director Personnel Requirements in Populations 10,000 and up
    5. Expend a reasonable portion of the library's total budget on library materials [605 CMR 4.01(5)]
    6. Lend books to other [certified] libraries in the commonwealth and extend privileges to holders of cards issued by other [certified] public libraries in the commonwealth on a reciprocal basis [605 CMR 4.01 (6)] 
  3. Submit State Aid to Public Libraries application and Annual Report Information Survey [MGL c.78, s. 19B(7); 605 CMR 4.01(7) and 4.02)]
    1. Nonresident Borrowing Annual Report Requirement
  4. Apply for and receive state certification for Library Director: either certificate of professional librarianship or certificate of subprofessional librarianship [MGL c.78, s.22-31; 605 CMR ;

FY2014 Budget Language

The FY 2014 budget language further defines State Aid to Public Libraries and has statute effect.

Chapter 38 of the Acts of 2013 7000-9501
Public Libraries Local Aid
For state aid to public libraries; provided, that no city or town shall receive funds from this item in any year when the appropriation of the city or town for free public library services is below an amount equal to 102.5 per cent of the average of the appropriations for free public library service for the 3 years immediately preceding; provided further, that the board of library commissioners may grant waivers in excess of the waiver limit set forth in the second paragraph of section 19A of chapter 78 of the General Laws in fiscal year 2014 for a period of not more than 1 year; provided further, that of the amount by which this item exceeds the amount appropriated in chapter 194 of the acts of 1998, funds shall be distributed under the guidelines of the municipal equalization grant program, the library incentive grant program and the nonresident circulation offset program; and provided further, that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, any payment made from this item shall be deposited with the treasurer of the city or town and held in a separate account and shall be expended by the public library of that city or town without appropriation..................................................................................$6,823,657

For more information, please contact Dianne Carty at x222 or Liz Babbitt at x227.

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Page last updated on 01/17/2014