State Aid Review Committee 2006

Purposes of the Massachusetts State Aid to Public Libraries Program

The staff and Director of the Board of Library Commissioners have reviewed the statutory language of the State Aid to Public Libraries Program and the Buck Report.

The following seven items have emerged as the purposes of the current state aid to public libraries program:

(1) To encourage municipalities to support and improve public library service (1890 Act to Promote the Establishment and Efficiency of Public Libraries),

(2) To compensate for disparities among municipal funding capacities (1987 Act to Improve Public Libraries-'The Bulger Bill'-established the Municipal Equalization Grant),

(3) To offset the cost of circulating public library materials to Massachusetts nonresidents from certified municipalities (1993 budget appropriation funding an offset for the 1974 regulatory language requiring nonresident reciprocity, based on the 1956 Report on State Aid to Public Libraries-the Buck Report),

(4) To provide access to public libraries for all residents of the commonwealth (1956 Report on State Aid to Public Libraries-the Buck Report),

(5) To provide free public library services for residents of the local community (1956 Report on State Aid to Public Libraries-the Buck Report),

(6) To ensure at least a 'minimum standard' of library services (minimum standards) throughout the commonwealth (1956 Report on State Aid to Public Libraries-the Buck Report),

(7) To provide reciprocal services to nonresidents whose home libraries meet a standard level of library service and to libraries that meet the minimum standards of public library service. (1956 Report on State Aid to Public Libraries-the Buck Report).

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Page last updated on 09/6/2007