October 26, 2007
Library Funding Inadequate to Meet Residents Needs According to Testimony
At a public hearing on Thursday, October 4, 2007 to review the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) fiscal year 2009 budget submission and preliminary legislative agenda, Commissioners heard that the 1.5% budget cap given to the Board by the Patrick Administration for its FY2009 budget request is inadequate to meet the needs of Massachusetts residents for library services.
Held at the Patrick Administration’s request, more than 100 individuals from across the state praised the Administration for opening up the budget process, but stated that library funding has not kept pace nor even recovered from the devastating cuts of FY2003.
"State funds provide for the equity of access to library holdings and programs that all residents of the Commonwealth want and deserve," said Dr. Em Claire Knowles, MBLC Chairman. "Strong libraries build strong communities. Strong libraries are the centers of civic engagement that we expect and need them to be. Strong libraries depend on state funds, programs and support from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to be successful."
To read the Executive Summary and selective Testimony from the hearing, go to http://mblc.state.ma.us/mblc/legislative/updates/09_budgetHearing.php.
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.