News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

DATE: October 08, 2009
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

Board Makes Difficult Choices

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners held a second special budget session Tuesday to decide a course of action in the wake of a close to -17% (reduction) in the FY2011 budget cap that it received from the Executive Office for Administration and Finance. Other state agencies have received similar budget caps.

MBLC Chair George T. Comeau opened the meeting by stating, “We have some difficult choices in front of us today. This is the beginning of a reshaping of a number of programs.” Commissioner Em Claire Knowles added, “We’re here to help libraries survive this.”

The Board deliberated for close to two hours with Commissioners often reading directly from the more than 250 comments the MBLC received regarding the FY2011 budget cap. Each account of the Board’s FY2011 budget was debated, the impact on services weighed.

The proposed FY2011 budget will have a significant impact on the regional library systems with consolidation of the six regions a possibility. Before making its decision, the Board heard from Gregory Pronevitz, Administrator of the Northeast Regional Library System. Speaking on behalf of the other regional administrators, Mr. Pronevitz informed the Board that the regions have set up a process to examine consolidation. Talking with all regional staff to plan and help identify core services is a priority.

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners approved the following:

An action requesting the Governor eliminate chapter 78 Section 19C clause 2 of Massachusetts General Laws requiring that the Board designate regional reference center libraries.

The FY2011 budget submission as indicated in the chart below:

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









MBLC Director Robert Maier emphasized that the Board is required to meet the budget cap it is given, but will use the Legislative Agenda to emphasize the need to restore funding to libraries.

The FY2011 budget will be submitted on October 9, 2009.

For more information about the FY2011 budget and the budget session held on October 1, 2009, please see the Board’s website:

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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