News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

DATE: November 02, 2009
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

Governor Cuts Regions and State Aid

On October 29, 2009 Governor Deval Patrick announced 9C spending cuts to the FY2010 state budget due to the $600 million revenue shortfall in the first quarter of the fiscal year. The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioner's (MBLC) budget was included in these reductions with State Aid to Regional Libraries cut by more than $500,000, bringing it lower than 1997 funding levels. The 9C reduction of close $300,000 to State Aid to Public Libraries also brings funding to that program below 1997 levels. State Aid to Public Libraries has been cut by more than 30% since 2009. The remainder of the MBLC's accounts were not reduced. See chart below for details.

Line Item No. Line Item FY1997 FY2009 9C Reductions
Jan., 2009
State Budget
9C Reductions
Oct. 29, 2009


Board of Library Commissioners







State Aid to Regional Libraries







Talking Book Library (Worcester)







Talking Book & Machine Lending (Perkins)







State Aid to Public Libraries







Library Technology & Resource Sharing







Public Library Incentive Grant Program













In a written statement released by the Administration, the Governor said, "We have been aggressively managing the impact of this crisis on the Commonwealth for over a year now, and in that time have solved a cumulative budget gap of more than $8 billion.  We have responded to each shift in circumstances promptly and effectively, making the tough decisions that leadership demands, based on our values -- investments in education, supporting cities and towns and protecting safety net services for our most vulnerable citizens."

Robert C. Maier, Director of the MBLC, responded to the latest round of cuts, "Libraries provide instrumental services for people, especially during this recession. Demand for services is up for the 9th year in a row and access to the free information and resources that libraries provide has never been more important. We've been working to find solutions that will help libraries maintain core services, but there is a limit to what we can do when funding is reduced to a level that we haven't seen for over a decade."

In 2008, statewide library circulation totaled more than 54 million items and MBLC's budget was $32,853,912.  With last week's 9C cuts the MBLC's FY2010 budget is close to 1997 levels when circulation was about 43 million items. Usage has increased by 23% since 1997 while funding to the MBLC's budget has been reduced by 25%.

FY2011 is also projected to be another difficult budget year for libraries with the Executive Office for Administration and Finance requiring the MBLC to meet a 17% reduction in the FY2011 budget cap. Other state agencies have received similar budget caps for FY2011. For more information about the FY2011 budget please see:

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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