DATE: October 17, 2008
MBLC Sustains $388K in 9C Cuts
On Wednesday October 15, 2008 Governor Deval Patrick announced over $1.4 billion in spending cuts, cost controls, and other budget solutions to bring the state’s operating budget in line with the revised consensus revenue estimate for fiscal year 2009.
In a message to state employees the Governor wrote, “I have not taken these decisions lightly. I know that behind every cut is a family, a worker, an important service or a worthy idea. Throughout this process I have attempted to balance our fiscal realties with the very real human impact behind each decision. As much as possible, we have tried to preserve funding and assistance for the people who lean on their government more in times like these.”
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) received its share of what are known as 9C cuts. Reductions totaling more than $388,000 are being taken against the two programs for the blind, library technology & resource sharing and the public library matching grant fund. Please see chart below for reduction details.
|Line Item No.||Line Item||FY2009||FY2009 9C Cuts|
|7000-9101||Board of Library Commissioners||$1,048,560||0|
|7000-9401||State Aid to Regional Libraries||$17,166,071||0|
|7000-9402||Talking Book Library (Worcester)||$440,000||-$16,315|
|7000-9406||Talking Book & Machine Lending (Watertown)||$2,341,359||-$86,816|
|7000-9501||State Aid to Public Libraries||$9,989,844||0|
|7000-9506||Library Technology & Resource Sharing||$2,851,000||-$35,000|
|7000-9507||Public Library Incentive Grant Program||$250,000||-$250,000|
The largest reduction comes from the elimination of funding to the Public Library Incentive Grant Program (account 9507) which provides a matching incentive for public libraries to raise private funds to supplement their budgets and offer new or expanded services. Last year 176 communities reported just over $5 million in eligible fundraising and received just under five cents for every dollar raised.
Technology and Automated Resource-Sharing, account 9506, provides funding to the library networks to offset the cost of telecommunications and the cost of filling loan requests which totaled more than 4.9 million last year. It also pays for statewide electronic content available in libraries and directly to any resident who has a library card and access to the Internet.
The talking book programs for the blind (Accounts 9402 and 9406) use funds from the MBLC for staffing and support to the more than 22,000 current users of the programs.
“In this economic climate, no one is immune from cuts,” stated Robert C. Maier, MBLC Director. “Library usage has soared as the economy worsens and we will continue to make every effort to meet the needs of all the Commonwealth’s residents.”
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.