DATE: November 08, 2010
Board Awards $712,255 in State Aid
Through the State Aid to Public Libraries Program libraries receive state funding that may be used to meet local library needs including maintaining library hours, purchasing computers, running homework-help centers and holding workshops for jobseekers. Patrons of State Aid certified libraries enjoy reciprocal borrowing privileges from all other certified libraries, either in person, or through interlibrary loan. In addition, certified libraries are eligible for millions of dollars in federal grants and qualified libraries may participate in the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program which provides state funding and technical assistance to support library building projects.
The three main standards of the program are the hours open requirement, which is based on a municipality's population; the materials expenditure requirement, which is also based on population size; and the municipal appropriations requirement (MAR), which is based on funding from the municipality that supports the library.
Program policies, regulations and statutes provide some allowances for libraries that cannot meet full requirements. The most common is the MAR waiver used by libraries when the community is unable to meet the municipal appropriations requirement. For more information about awards and certification, including a list of libraries that have received MAR waivers, please see http://mblc.state.ma.us/grants/state_aid/awards/index.php
In December, the MBLC will consider the second round of FY2011 State Aid awards for libraries that meet State Aid to Public Libraries Program. Applications for waivers of the municipal appropriation requirement are reviewed at the January Board meeting with action taken at the February Board meeting. Libraries may appeal MAR waiver decisions in March.
The State Aid to Public Libraries Program is administered in accordance with statutory and regulatory minimum standards of free public library service. For more information please see http://mblc.state.ma.us/grants/state_aid/index.php
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.