History and Mission

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate, and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. It is governed by nine Commissioners appointed by the governor.

The MBLC strives to provide every resident of the Commonwealth with full and equal access to library information resources regardless of geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability, or cultural background.

In 2015, the MBLC celebrated the 125th anniversary of its establishment in 1890 under Chapter 78 of the Massachusetts General Laws. At a special ceremony held at the State House in Boston, the Board presented the first-ever Commissioners Awards to recognize excellence and innovation in the Massachusetts library community.


The goals of the MBLC are to

  • maintain and strengthen the Commonwealth's free public libraries,
  • provide statewide and regional programs for the improvement of library services provided by libraries of all types,
  • support resource sharing, online access, and the utilization of technology by libraries, and
  • provide specialized library services to blind and physically handicapped residents.