March 7, 2007
Director, Communications & Public Information
Libraries Receive $250,000 from Public Libraries Fund
"The purpose of this program is to provide a matching incentive for funds raised by local trustees, library foundations and library Friends groups from non-municipal sources for the enhancement of library services beyond those provided through municipal funds," said Robert C. Maier, Director of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.
In order to be eligible for the FY2007 Public Libraries Fund, the municipality and its public library needed to be certified for FY2007 State Aid to Public Libraries program, raise a minimum of $2,000 up to a maximum of $100,000 between July 1, 2006 through December 31, 2006 from or by private individuals or organizations for the benefit of the public library and funds raised be available for expenditure for the enhancement of library services.
Conceived as a way to encourage private library fundraising, a Public Library Fund bill had been introduced in the 2005-2006 Legislative Session by Senator Edward Augustus. Though the legislature took no action on the bill, $250,000 was appropriated in the FY2007 State Budget that then established the program for this year. Senator Augustus has refiled the bill and it is hoped that funding can be increased for FY2008.
"Public libraries provide the ideal service a community can offer where all citizens can take advantage of the vast amount of information and resources at their disposal," said Senator Edward Augustus. "I'm pleased that the Fund for Public Libraries is able to supply resources to help these facilities update themselves and develop to keep up with circulation demand and evolving technology. It is a pleasure to partner with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and help them get this important funding to our state's libraries."
Should funding be appropriated in the FY2008 State Budget, the reporting period for funds raised will be from January 1, 2007 to June 30, 2007. Application materials will be mailed in August 2007 with the FY2008 State Aid packet and the completed forms will be due in October 2007. The Board will then be able to approve the distribution of funds at its March 2008 board meeting.
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.