News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

DATE: July 24, 2008
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

Library Funding Increased in Governor's Budget

Governor Deval Patrick signed the $28.1 billion FY2009 state budget on Sunday July 13, 2008. Overall library funding was increased with five of the seven line items in the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) budget receiving increases However, the Governor vetoed $122.5 million from the budget, targeting legislative pet projects, and asked the Legislature for expanded power to make midyear cuts across state government if necessary.

Included in the vetoed funding was $250,000 in Library Technology & Resource Sharing funds. The impact of this veto is a reduction in funding for automated networks and a reduction in licensed electronic content available to libraries and to the public. In terms of databases, the loss of funding will require the MBLC to eliminate EBSCO Literary Reference Center. Reduced state funding also requires public libraries to seek additional funding from their municipalities.

In addition to the veto in funding to Library Technology & Resource Sharing, the Public Library Incentive Grant Program was level funded. The Public Library Incentive Program provides a matching incentive for funds raised by local trustees and library foundations from non-municipal sources for the enhancement of library services beyond those provided through municipal funds.

“This year we asked for substantial increases in our line items to help adjust for inequities that have occurred since 2001. While the increases we’ve received do not match our request, they are significant, especially given the difficult economy. We appreciate the support the Governor and Legislature has demonstrated in this budget,” stated Robert C. Maier, MBLC Director.

Please see below for details of the FY2009 budget for the MBLC

Line Item No. Line Item FY2008 FY2009
7000-9101 Board of Library Commissioners $1,028,000 $1,048,560
7000-9401 State Aid to Regional Libraries $16,616,071 $17,166,071
7000-9402 Talking Book Library (Worcester) $415,000 $440,000
7000-9406 Talking Book & Machine Lending (Perkins) $2,203,997 $2,341,359
7000-9501 State Aid to Public Libraries $9,489,844 $9,989,844**
7000-9506 Library Technology & Resource Sharing $2,851,000 $2,851,000
7000-9507 Public Library Incentive Grant Program $250,000 $250,000
Total $32,853,912 $34,086,834

Provides authorizations to the MBLC to award 55 additional waivers in excess of the statutory 10 waivers of the M.A.R. (Municipal Appropriations Requirement)

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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