State Aid Review Committee 2006

Local Funding Requirement Group

State Per-Capita Scenario

Proposed Local Funding Requirement:

The State Per-Capita average for municipality library spending is computed for the prior FY. This result is used X the local population to derive the local funding requirement for state aid certification.

Reasoning underpinning this view:

Municipalities are responsible for providing a minimum standard funding to their local libraries. The standard should by derived from a state-wide view rather than local spending practice.


  • In the struggle for local library funding, a stronger case for minimum library spending can be made using a per-capita state-wide spending backed up with the threat of losing local and inter-library services.
  • This method is used as the basic aid distribution in many other comparable states. (See State Aid in the US, Table 2, earlier handout)
  • If implemented carefully, this method could provide a new,effective argument to raise the level of the State Aid funding. First, by comparing MA per capita spending to similar states (See prior reference), and second, it clearly identifies where local libraries are falling way behind and need state-level attention.
  • It is a solution to the local library "apples and oranges" budget problem; no longer is the local library budget the basis for state aid certification.


  • This method might serve as a disincentive for communities already exceeding a minimum requirement.
  • This approach to budgeting is not familiar to municipalities; it does NOT align the library and total local budgets.
  • It probably requires more training/transition time and, since new, could need a longer time to "fine tune" based on first results.

How does LFR work?

1. MBLC would set the minimum local funding requirement for certification as $ xx.xx per capita, based on recent reported municipality amounts/capita. Note that this is not the actual average/per capita, but something significantly lower. See example.
2. Municipal libraries would use the LFR amount ($/capita) X their population to determine the amount in their local budget needed to qualify for state aid certification (the floor amount).
3. Libraries whose municipalities meet the LFR floor 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)


Prior FY per capita state average = $ 25.00 per capita (library spending/state latest census) MBLC reviews the data and decrees that the LFR = $ 10.00 per capita in each municipality.

  1. The LFR ($10.00 per mun. capita) sets the floor amount for certification,
  2. The FY average ($ 25) divides the remainder above the floor into at least two classes: those that are below the average ($10 to $ 25)and may need extra help, and those who are above the average ($ 25).

Savoy (first municipality spending any $ on library)
Total Mun Exp: $1,467,954
Total Mun Exp on Lib: $400 or $ 0.55 per capita (population = 725)

Goal: $ 7250 (certif. floor of $10 X 725)

Arlington (mid-range in population)
Total Mun Exp: $ 93,165,424
Total Lib Exp: $1,611,490 or $ 39.09 per capita (population = 41,224)

Goal: $ 412,240 (certif. floor of $10 X 41,224)

Springfield (large library in population)
Total Mun Exp: $437,156,943
Total Lib Exp: $4,447,481 or $ 29.31 per capita (population = 151,732)

Goal: $ 1,517,320 (certif. floor of $10 X 151,732)

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Page last updated on 09/6/2007