DATE: December 14, 2010
Board Awards $729,258 in 2nd State Aid Round
At its December Board meeting the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) approved the second round of FY 2011 State Aid awards totaling $729,258 to 112 municipalities that have met the State Aid to Public Libraries Program requirements. In November the Board awarded $712,255.28 to 96 municipalities that met the requirements. A list of FY2011 certified municipalities to date may be viewed at http://mblc.state.ma.us/grants/state_aid/awards/index.php
Funding from the State Aid to Public Libraries Program directly supports 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 community programming or for library maintenance. 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.
Libraries that are not able to meet the program’s municipal appropriation requirement (MAR), which is local funding to support the library, may apply for a MAR waiver. 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.
Participation in the State Aid to Public Libraries Program is voluntary. 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.