News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

DATE: February 24, 2012
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

FY2013 Funding Outlook

On January 25, 2012 Governor Deval Patrick released his proposed FY2013 budget with an increase of over $100,000 to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners’ (MBLC) administrative account line and level funding to all other account lines. Board staffing has been reduced by 11% over the past three years including the library construction specialist position which has been vacant for two years. The MBLC plans to use the increase to restore this position which is vital to the MBLC’s Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program. The program specialist works with local communities to assist them in building, renovating, or expanding their local library so that it can meet residents' needs well into the future. There are currently nine projects underway and fifteen communities on a waiting list. 

“Governor Patrick has recognized how much residents value library services and is working with us to help libraries recover from past reductions and move forward.”  said MBLC Chair Katherine Dibble. While libraries have experienced a dramatic surge in usage including a 50% increase in library visits over the past decade, state funding to support libraries has been reduced by more than $11 million since FY2008.

Item FY2008 FY2012

FY2013 Governor's Budget
House 2 January 25, 2012

7000-9101 Board of Library Commissioners $1,028,000 $914,448 $1,028,312
7000-9401 State Aid to Regional Libraries $16,616,071 $9,131,475 $9,131,475
7000-9402 Talking Book Library $415,000 $421,143 $421,143
7000-9406 Talking Book & Machine Lending $2,203,997 $2,241,016 $2,241,016
7000-9501 State Aid to Public Libraries $9,489,844 $6,823,657 $6,823,657
7000-9506 Library Technology & Resource Sharing $2,851,000 $1,929,238 $1,929,238
7000-9507 Public Library Incentive Grant $250,000    
Total $32,853,912 $21,460,977 $21,574,841

At Library Legislative Breakfasts across the Commonwealth, library supporters recognized the significance of the Governor’s funding to libraries especially in what continues to be a difficult fiscal environment, but they also stressed the need to improve state funding to libraries which is currently at 1990’s levels.

Breakfasts have been hosted by libraries in Holyoke, Agawam, Pittsfield, Northampton, Natick, Arlington, East Long Meadow, Milton, Southbridge, Palmer, Marlborough, Worcester and Barre. They have been well attended by state senators and representatives as well as local leaders.  “It’s our opportunity to begin the process of working with legislators to build funding that strengthens library services for all residents, said MBLC Director Robert Maier. “ Legislators have been responsive,” he added.

At the breakfast hosted by the Agawam Public Library, State Senators James Welch and Michael Knapik and State Representative Nicholas Boldyga were among state and local officials who expressed their ongoing commitment to support libraries. “Libraries have more than proved their worth during this recession and it’s not over yet,” said Senator Knapik.

The MBLC developed an FY2013 Legislative Agenda that provides information on the funding necessary for the Commonwealth’s libraries.  Local information sheets have also been created for each public library. Additional information about the MBLC’s budget can be found on the Board’s site:
MBLC budgets from FY2009-FY2012 budget

MBLC budgets from FY2001-FY2008 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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