News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

DATE: November 09, 2009
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

MBLC Awards $900,000 in State Aid

 At its November Board Meeting the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners approved partial FY2010 State Aid awards, totaling $859,823.76  to 106 municipalities that have met State Aid to Public Libraries Program requirements. Concerns over recent 9C cuts, the possibility of additional cuts in January, and intermittent disbursement of funds from the state prompted the Board to make partial awards at this time. Additional payments to libraries are expected toward the end of the grant cycle in the spring. 

In the Governor's 9C cuts, announced on October 29, 2009, State Aid to Public Libraries was cut by close to $300,000, bringing it to 1997 funding levels. Over the past two years State Aid to Public Libraries has been reduced by 30%.  See budget line 9501 in the 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













Funding from State Aid goes directly to support public library services. "State Aid helps keep the doors open," said one library director.  Others use it to provide Internet computers, summer reading programs and other programming for communities or for library maintenance.  See below for details of how libraries are funded.

  • 87% of library funding comes from local sources.
  • 3% comes from State Aid to Public Libraries.
  • 10% comes from other sources, such as endowment income, friends groups, etc.
  • 1.26% of total municipal operating expenditures goes to public libraries in Massachusetts, based on the most recent Department of Revenue figures. Each municipality decides the local funding level of their public library

The Board's decision marks the fourth time since 1990 that partial State Aid awards have been granted. In 1991 the State Aid to Public Libraries Program received midyear budget cuts causing libraries to receive partial awards. In 2003 and 2009 libraries again received partial State Aid awards but were later fully funded.

Participation in the State Aid to Public Libraries Program is voluntary. It is administered in accordance with statutory and regulatory minimum standards of free public library service. The program encourages municipalities to support and improve public library service, compensates for disparities among municipal funding capacities, and offsets the cost of circulating public library materials to Massachusetts nonresidents from certified municipalities.  For more information 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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