DATE: July 24, 2008
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|
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)
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.