legislative agenda

Restore Funding for Library Services for All Residents –
Funding Request for FY2013

Budget History FY2001-FY2008
Budget History FY2009-FY2012

Making better librarians and libraries: continuing education, statewide delivery, and access from anywhere

1990 fundingState Aid to Regional Libraries and the Library for the Commonwealth (Account 7000-9401) Massachusetts Library System’s (MLS) continuing education classes are offered online and in convenient locations throughout the state, cutting down on the amount of time staff is out of the library and reducing travel costs. MLS also provides statewide delivery of items patrons request through the automated networks. View MLS’s FY2011 service maps to see how continuing education opportunities are reaching librarians across the state.

The Boston Public Library (BPL) as the Library for the Commonwealth (LFC) provides residents with a Boston Public Library card for unrestricted borrowing privileges. Residents also have instant access to online services with a BPL e-Card including a broad selection of electronic databases, e-books, downloadable audio books and music, and a wealth of digital images and books. Usage of BPL by residents outside of Boston in FY2011: 791,000 items borrowed; 157,000 library cards issued; 600,000 visits.

Restoring funding $10,998,221 (increase of $1,866,746) sustains delivery and increases MLS staff which is charged with meeting educational needs formerly met by six regions. Restoring funding to the LFC will help BPL expand and maintain a statewide digital library and extend digitization services to libraries statewide, substantially increasing patron access.

1997 funding

Statewide reach: small staff, big impact

Board of Library Commissioners (Account 7000-9101) Funding to support the MBLC staff makes up 4% of the total MBLC state budget; yet staff provides resources, training, programming, and support that impact residents and libraries across the state. Learn more about the MBLC’s services (PDF).

Restoring funding $1,100,000 (increase of $185,552) reinstates the public library construction specialist position at the MBLC, and funds basic operational costs such as space rental, supplies, and postage.

1994 funding

Access: more than 37 million items available at the click of a mouse

State Aid to Public Libraries (Account 7000-9501) Libraries in the MBLC’s State Aid to Public Libraries Program work together to give patrons access to millions of items beyond what their local library is able to offer. Libraries also use state aid funding to meet other local needs, such as buying computers or keeping the library open.

Restoring funding $9,989,844 (increase of $3,166,187) aids local municipalities which, even as state and federal funding to libraries declined, maintained local funding to support their libraries.

1998 funding

Technology: it’s what happens behind the scenes that makes all the difference

Library Technology and Resource Sharing (Account 7000-9506) While libraries provide residents with access to current technology such as Wifi, digital resources, e-books and Internet access, the automated networks are “behind the scenes,” making these services, Interlibrary Loan, and other automated services available and affordable for libraries. Technology evolves fast and years of under-funding have left automated networks struggling to bring libraries into the next critical technological phase.

Restoring funding to $3,780,000 (increase of $1,850,762) ensures that as technology moves forward, no resident is left behind and reduces the local library’s cost of providing these services.


Reading never sounded so good: library services for the blind and disabled

Talking Book Library at the Worcester Public Library (Account 7000–9402) The Talking Book Library (TBL) specializes in large-print materials and connects patrons to the National Library Service’s digital talking books and magazines through the Braille and Audio Reading (BARD) program.
Funding request: $454,834 (increase of $33,691)

Perkins Braille talking Book Library (BTBL) at the Perkins School for the Blind (Account 7000–9406) Programs and services at the BTBL are nationally recognized for excellence. Staff continually work with patrons to make the latest technology and services available as well as providing ongoing services such as Newsline, which allows users to listen to more than 300 newspapers. View Perkins’ Readership Distribution Map to see how the library is serving residents across the Commonwealth.
Funding request: $2,421,016 (increase of $180,000)

With increased funding in FY2013, both libraries will expand outreach to the more than 100,000 residents who are eligible for services. At Worcester, the library will work closely with social service agencies and public libraries to raise awareness about services. At Perkins, expanded outreach will include the ongoing effort to help patrons learn how the latest technologies are making improved services possible.

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