December 12, 2006
Director, Communications & Public Information
Board Amends Legislative Agenda for FY2008
After consulting with the more than 1,800 libraries in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners has amended its FY2008 Legislative Agenda to reflect inflationary costs in several of its line items.
Since FY2001 when many services funded by the Board were at an all time high, cutbacks in state funding for libraries has negatively impacted local libraries when their local municipal budgets have been under pressure due to cutbacks in state aid, competition from other municipal departments and decreased private funding. Although some increases have occurred since then, funding for public libraries and technology has not kept up with the consequence that progress towards equal access to core library services has been seriously eroded.
"This legislative agenda now reflects actual increases in the Consumer Price Index for State Aid to Public Libraries, as well as the urgency, especially in light of the recent 9C cuts, of reestablishing programs funded by the Library Technology and Resource Sharing Account that were so drastically cut in FY2003. In addition, as we request a new construction bond bill, we are recommending a 15% supplement to the 31 projects currently on our Waiting List that now brings total funding needed to $100 Million," said Dr. Em Claire Knowles, Chairman.
To view the FY2008 Legislative Agenda in its entirety, go to www.mass.gov/mblc
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.