Agreements to Date, March 22, 2007

The purpose of the State Aid to Public Libraries program is to encourage municipalities to support public libraries that meet the evolving needs of residents; to encourage resource sharing and collaboration among libraries; and to provide equal access to appropriate public library services for all residents of the Commonwealth.

Agreements reached 11/20/06:

1. There should be a local funding requirement
2. There should be some standard for support (examples: per capita, % of local budget, etc.)
3. There should be consequences for not meeting the local funding requirement
4. State Aid to Public Libraries is an incentive-based program

Values adopted 1/29/07

The state aid program will...

1. require a minimum level of municipal funding from each community
2. take into account that participation in the program is voluntary
3. have minimum requirements that must be met in order to be certified
4. take into consideration the variations of local budgets and library programmatic services in each community
5. be easy to understand and explain to trustees, municipal boards and other interested entities
6. acknowledge libraries that meet and/or exceed minimum requirements
7. compensate public libraries for network transfers interlibrary loans and non-resident circulation
8. require reciprocal borrowing privileges, network transfers & inter-library loan for residents of communities that are certified as meeting the minimum eligibility requirements, however local communities may decide to deny these services to residents of communities whose libraries aren't certified
9. apply a process to recognize that catastrophic economic circumstances, not under the control of the community temporarily affect library budgets

Local Funding 3/8/07

  • Be open to all residents of the Commonwealth.
  • Make no charge for normal library services for residents of the municipality.
  • Education/Certification: All library directors in communities with populations under 10,000 residents must have at least a bachelor's degree plus courses in library techniques (the composition of the courses will be determined by the MBLC). Library directors in communities with a population over 10,000 must have an MLS degree.
  • Library directors of communities over 10,000 must hold a certificate of professional librarianship issued by the MBLC.
  • Extend privileges to holders of cards issued by other certified public libraries in the Commonwealth.
  • Hours of service is based on total number of actual unduplicated hours. The minimum number of hours will be based on a municipality's population. (Note: The subcommittee wants a per capita based solution but has not found one.)
  • NOTE: The requirement, "Content, materials, salaries and wages as a per capita formula, with a floor amount (TBD). (Content=everything purchased for the intellectual pursuit of patrons. Includes programming but not network membership.)" was returned to committee for further definition.
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