February 5, 2004
Director, Communications & Public Information
Board Approves 65 Waivers
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners at its regularly-scheduled February Board Meeting, today approved waivers of the FY2004 Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR) to 65 cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth.
The FY2004 State Aid to Public Libraries grant round has taken place in an atmosphere of extreme fiscal difficulty. Despite these fiscal constraints, 273 municipalities have met the MAR to receive State Aid. Under statute and FY2004 State Budget language, the Board is authorized to grant waivers of the MAR for one year "upon demonstration of fiscal hardship." In granting these waivers the Board granted 53 waivers, and 12 waivers "with reservation," to allow for these communities to remain certified and receive their share of State Aid.
The 65 Communities receiving a waiver were: Abington, Arlington, Athol, Attleboro, Auburn, Barnstable, Bellingham, Berkley, Beverly, Boston, Braintree, Bridgewater, Chelsea, Duxbury, Easthampton, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Foxborough, Framingham, Franklin, Freetown, Gardner, Greenfield, Hatfield, Haverhill, Holbrook, Holliston, Lenox, Lexington, Longmeadow, Lowell, Lynn, Marlborough, Melrose, Milford, Montague, New Bedford, Newbury, North Andover, Northampton, Northbridge, Quincy, Randolph, Revere, Royalston, Salem, Salisbury, Saugus, Somerville, South Hadley, Southbridge, Springfield, Stoughton, Townsend, Uxbridge, Wakefield, Wales, Walpole, West Springfield, Westport, Weymouth, Winthrop, Worcester and Wrentham.
The Board of Library Commissioners (mass.gov/mblc) is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.