News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

DATE: April 29, 2008
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

House Committee on Ways & Means Releases Budget

The MBLC sees some increases; several amendments proposed

The House Committee on Ways & Means released their FY2009 budget on April 16, 2008.  For the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the budget, which totaled $33,316,272 provided some increases but overall was about $75,000 less than the Governor’s budget released in January.

State Aid to Regional Libraries, Talking Book & Machine Lending (Perkins), and Library Technology & Resource Sharing were increased over the Governor’s budget. “We’re pleased with the increases, especially because they come during a tight budget year, stated Robert C. Maier. “But during difficult economic times more people turn to their libraries and we need adequate funding to be able to provide services.”

Even with the increases, funding to both State Aid to Regional Libraries and Library Technology & Resource Sharing is below 2001 levels.

Although the budget provides no funding for the Public Library Incentive Grant Program, amendments proposed by Representatives James Vallee and Robert Rice would reinstate funding. The Public Library Incentive Grant Program matches funds that libraries raise through private fundraising. 

In the budget, State Aid to Public Libraries is level funded and is still $500,000 below its 2001 levels. From 2001 to 2007 borrowing (books and other materials) has increased 20%.  Representative Mark Falzone, who recently formed the Library Legislative Caucus, has filed an amendment that would bring funding for State Aide to Public Libraries to $14,335,389, the amount requested in the MBLC Legislative Agenda. The State Aid program recognizes local commitment to maintain minimum standards by providing grants to local libraries and it reimburses the cost of circulating materials to non-residents.

There are also proposed amendments that would increase funding to State Aid to Regional Libraries to the 2002 level of $17,623, 954 (Representative Scaccia) and Library Technology and Resource Sharing  to $7,000,000 as requested in the Board’s Legislative Agenda (Representative Pedone). 

ITEM ITEM NAME FY2008 Budget FY2009 Governor’s
FY2009 House
Ways & Means Budget
7000-9101 Board of Library Commissioners $1,028,000 $1,239,916 $1,120,347
7000-9401 State Aid to Regional Libraries $16,616,071 $16,616,071 $16,886,707
7000-9402 Talking Book Library (Worcester) $415,000 $440,000 $427,015
7000-9406 Talking Book & Machine Lending (Perkins) $2,203,997 $2,253,997 $2,341,359
7000-9501 State Aid to Public Libraries $9,489,844 $9,489,844 $9,489,844
7000-9506 Library Technology & Resource Sharing $2,851,000 $2,851,000 $3,051,000
7000-9507 Public Library Incentive Grant Program $250,000 $500,000 $0
Total   $32,853,912 $33,390,828 $33,316,272

It is anticipated that the House will complete its budget work the week of April 28.

To view the complete MBLC Legislative Agenda go to:

About MBLC

The Board of Library Commissioners ( 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.

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