News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

DATE: September 28, 2009
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

Proposed FY2011 Library Budget Reduced 16%

Special Budget Sessions Convened

Each year the Executive Office of Administration and Finance begins the state budget process by providing government agencies with a budget cap. The FY2010 cap for the MBLC budget was -1.5% (negative). For FY2011 the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners was given a -16% (negative) budget cap, meaning the MBLC would need to reduce its budget which is currently at 1997 funding levels, even further.

The MBLC is currently working with the Massachusetts Regional Library Systems, Library Networks and other members of the library community to develop a FY2011 plan. Under consideration are reducing funding to regions and library of last recourse by 28% while using the remainder of this fiscal year to develop a consolidation plan with the regions, reducing funding to automated networks by 27%, and reducing funding to the talking book programs by 16%, level funding State Aid to Public Libraries and the MBLC's administrative account.  See chart below for details.

Acct No.

Acct Name





Board of Library Commissioners





State Aid to Regional Libraries





Talking Book Library (Worcester)





Talking Book & Machine Lending (Perkins)





State Aid to Public Libraries





Library Tech & Resource Sharing









 "There is no doubt that this is the greatest funding crisis we have faced and will continue to face. It is our job to find the right path through this crisis and do our level best to preserve core services as these will be the platform on which we build for the future as recovery replaces crisis," said MBLC Director Robert C. Maier.

In order to assure that the library community can comment on the potential impacts of this budget, the Board has convened a budget comment session that will follow its regular Board Meeting on October 1 at the Sargent Memorial Library in Boxborough. The regular monthly meeting will be called to order at 10:00 and run until about 11:30. The budget comment session will begin at noon. The Board asks that speakers limit their presentations to five minutes to assure that all who wish to be heard have that opportunity. Written comments for the record are requested and electronic versions of comments are most useful.  It is not necessary to appear in person to comment.  Comments may be submitted to

The Board will also hold a special meeting on Tuesday, October 6 at the agency offices, 98 North Washington Street in Boston, beginning at 10:00am. The purpose of this special meeting is to consider the comments received on October 1 and determine how to meet the 16% reduction.  The Board's budget submission which must meet the cap is due October 9.  

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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