DATE: February 21, 2008
Budget and Library Bond Bill Hearings Set for February 27, 2008
Hearings for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioner's (MBLC) FY2009 State Budget Request and the Library Bond Bill have been scheduled for February 27, 2008.
MBLC Director Robert C. Maier will appear before the Committee on Ways and Means on February 27 at 10:00 am at Roxbury Community College to present what he calls "an aggressive FY2009 Legislative Agenda"
"The Patrick-Murray Administration's H2 budget proposes much needed increases for the Board of Library Commissioners, for the Talking Book Libraries and for the Public Library Incentive Program. But library funding has been losing ground. Funding for State Aid to Public Libraries and State Aid to Regional Public Libraries are both 4% below FY2001 levels while funding for education has increased 14% and general government local aid has increased 8% since 2001," stated Maier.
Also on February 27, 2008 the MBLC will appear before the Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets to provide testimony regarding the Public Library Construction portion of H.4455, Governor Patrick's general government bond bill. Governor Patrick included $100,000,000 for the Public Library Construction Program in his FY2008-2012 Five Year Capital Investment Plan, but those funds cannot be made available until the Legislature authorizes the borrowing.
Since it was first funded in FY1990, the Public Library Construction Program has awarded general construction grants to cities and towns for 209 addition/renovation or new library projects. "Yet even today," notes Director Maier, "libraries across the state are struggling to provide 21st century library services in early 20th century and even late 19th century buildings."
For more information on the MBLC FY09 Legislative Agenda visit: http://mblc.state.ma.us/mblc/news/releases/past-releases/2008/nr080108.php
For more information on the Library Bond Bill including the communities on the construction waiting list please visit: http://mblc.state.ma.us/mblc/news/releases/past-releases/2008/nr080110.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.