State Aid Review Committee 2006

Local Funding Requirement Group

Local Budget Scenario

Proposed Local Funding Requirement:

Municipalities must annually allocate to the library at a minimum 1.3 percent (or the most recent average or median [TBD]) of the total municipal budget.

Reasoning underpinning this view:

Municipalities are responsible for providing an adequate amount of funding to their local libraries.


  • This approach is based upon the revenue generating capacity of the municipality, therefore as municipal budgets increase or decrease, the library's budget will reflect the local community's capacity for support.
  • This approach to budgeting is familiar to municipalities.
  • The approach provides a state minimum standard for funding and gives librarians/trustees an outside source to cite when advocating for funding.
  • This approach aligns the library budget very closely with the municipal budget.
  • This approach assists under-funded libraries to reach toward a higher level of funding.


  • This approach could serve as a disincentive for communities already exceeding this minimal percentage, and therefore may only help a small number of libraries.
  • This doesn't rectify the difficulty statewide of comparing libraries, i.e. "Apples and Oranges" comparisons we currently encounter.
  • Budgets are already skewed, and this could make it easier to skew.

How does LFR work?

1. The BLC would set the minimum percentage that municipalities must meet.
2. Libraries would report their community's compliance at the end of the fiscal year (as is currently done).
3. Libraries whose municipalities meet the requirements set by the BLC would be certified.

If municipality does not meet LFR?

4. Libraries whose municipalities do not meet the requirements set by the BLC would become non-certified, and be ineligible for state aid funding or reciprocal borrowing privileges.

Is there an alternative?

5. Municipalities whose libraries are non-certified may apply for probationary status (TBD)


Savoy (first municipality spending some % on library)
Current % spent on library: 0.03
Total Mun Exp: $1,467,954
Total Mun Exp on Lib: $400

Goal: 1.3% of Total Mun Exp on Library = $19,083

Boston (first municipality to spend 0.99% (almost 1%)on library)
Current % spent on library: 0.99
Total Mun Exp: $1,977,423,861
Total Mun Exp on Lib: $19,609,014

Goal: 1.3% of Total Mun Exp on Library = $25,706,510

The LFR Subcommittee discussed phasing in this approach or having 2 prongs to the local funding requirement: (1)those municipalities who need to meet the minimum using the % standard, and (2)encouraging municipalities who already meet or exceed the % standard to use their existing MAR standard as their minimum.

Submitted by,
Diane Giarrusso
Boxford Town Library

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 09/6/2007