Public Officials


State funding to the MBLC – FY2025 Legislative Agenda

The majority of state funding to the MBLC goes to support local libraries and library services.  For FY2025, the MBLC is prioritizing funding to State Aid to Public Libraries Program-local aid for libraries (state budget line 7000-9501), the Massachusetts Center for the Book (state budget line 7000-9508) and the Board of Library Commissioners agency line (state budget line 7000-9101).
Contact: James Lonergan

State Aid to Public Libraries (local aid for libraries)

Libraries certified in the State Aid to Public Libraries Program will receive the largest state aid awards  since the program began over 100 years ago. Certified libraries will share over $17 million in funding. Attleboro, for example, went from $59,422.67 in state aid funding in 2015 to $109,043 in the FY2023 cycle.  Learn more about how the State Aid to Public Libraries Program saves money and gives residents more access to resources.
Contacts: Cate Merlin; Jen Inglis

Federal funding to libraries (MBLC's direct grants to libraries program)

The MBLC’s direct grant program is helping local libraries meet local needs. Using federal LSTA funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the MBLC develops grant opportunities for public, school, academic, and special libraries that go beyond what local funding can do. Find out what your district or municipality received.
Contacts: Rob Favini; Lyndsay Forbes


According to the American Library Association, there were 45 book challenges in Massachusetts in 2022 affecting 57 titles. That’s more than nine years (2013-2021) combined which totaled 38 challenges. In 2023 attempts to ban books continued with than 2,000 informal challenges and 36 formal book challenges in Massachusetts public libraries.* There are several anti-book banning bills pending which would ensure diverse voices stay in our collections and give everyone the opportunity to learn from different perspectives.

The MBLC consults with libraries facing content, meeting room use, and programming challenges. Training is provided for library trustees and directors to ensure equitable access and representation in collections and policies. Visit the MBLC’s Intellectual Freedom page for more information.

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), The Massachusetts Library Association (MLA), The Massachusetts Library System (MLS), and The Massachusetts School Library Association (MSLA) support library staff’s efforts to ensure free, equal, and open access to information, guaranteed to everyone regardless of age or citizenship status. Join us in supporting libraries and add your endorsement to the Joint Statement on Intellectual Freedom & Censorship.

*MBLC State Aid Data

Contact: Rob Favini


The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP)

The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) provides funding for major capital projects for public libraries throughout the Commonwealth. The MPLCP has helped over 250 communities plan, build, renovate and expand their public libraries and serves as a model for other states. MPLCP projects are currently underway in Amherst, Deerfield, Fitchburg, Gloucester, Melrose, Sharon, Shutesbury, Swansea and Westford.

  • The MPLCP needs a new $150 million bond authorization to run the competitive 2023-2024 grant round. Twenty-seven libraries throughout the Commonwealth have submitted letters of intent, and applications are due May 31, 2024.
  • The MBLC is requesting that the annual cap, currently at $25 million, increase $1 million annually to keep pace with escalation, allowing the program to maintain the level of support to libraries offered throughout its existence.

Contacts: Andrea Bono-Bunker; Heather Backman


Libraries, as providers of connectivity, literacy training, and a source of online resources, such as eContent and research databases, play an important role in achieving digital equity.

Affordable Connectivity Program

MBLC hosted an FCC webinar and continues to encourage active library engagement with the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Proving eligibility and applying for ACP benefits are barriers to free or reduced cost internet and devices for low-income residents. The MBLC participates in western Massachusetts’ Alliance for Digital Literacy efforts to organize a cadre of libraries to eager to support ACP uptake.
Contact: Kate Butler

Digital Equity Act Planning

The MBLC worked closely with the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) in developing state’s Digital Equity Plan, a requirement for further support from the bipartisan infrastructure act’s Digital Equity Act capacity and challenge grants. As the implementation of the plan moves forward in 2024, the MBLC will continue in close communication with MBI and other partners so as to connect libraries with community programs, and to assure libraries are aware of and able to participate in available opportunities. Contact: Kate Butler


School eContent

The Massachusetts Library System’s Commonwealth eBook Collection (funded in part by the MBLC) offers an ever-growing robust collection of rich and diverse titles to help support the 550+ K-12 school libraries that participate in this program. The collection contains over 250,000 eBook and audiobook tiles exclusively for schools. In 2023, program circulation continued to grow, exceeding 1.7 million checkouts with 591 school libraries participating. The MBLC continues to use federal funds to support school eContent.
Contact: Jaccavrie McNeely


The statewide database program provides critical access to research databases that no community or school system could afford to purchase on its own. 1,500 school, public, academic and special libraries from across the state benefit from these resources. The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Massachusetts Library System recently increased funding to these resources that are not available to consumers on the internet without a paid subscription.
Contact: Jaccavrie McNeely

Summer Reading

In Summer 2023, more than 168,000 children, teens, and adults registered in statewide summer reading programs proven to help kids and teens maintain academic skills and residents of all ages shared their summer success stories.  Summer programs help close the literacy gap, a critical predictor of academic success.
Contacts: Celeste Bruno; June Thammasnong


Managing Special Collections

For over four hundred years, the public and private histories of Massachusetts residents have been recorded in books, newspapers, archives, artworks—and now, increasingly, digital AV collections—which are often deeded to public libraries and historical societies for public benefit. The MBLC provides expert consulting services and administers grant programs that support libraries, staff, and other stakeholders to collaboratively preserve and more widely share (online and in-person) these irreplaceable local histories in affordable and sustainable ways.
Contact: Rob Favini


Network membership

Membership in one of the nine automated library networks saves libraries money by providing the library catalog, circulation services, patron registration, public internet access and more. Libraries pay a membership fee to join a network and MBLC offers support that keeps membership fees affordable and helps new public libraries join.
Contacts: Kate Butler; Jaccavrie McNeely

Sharing Resources

Network membership also gives residents access to 59 million items from libraries across the state and access to millions of eBooks and audiobooks through the statewide Library eBooks and Audiobooks (LEA) program. This saves money because libraries don't have to purchase each item residents need. The MBLC also provides funding to purchase statewide eContent.
Contacts: Kate Butler; Jaccavrie McNeely


The MBLC provides advice to Massachusetts library trustees and assists them with interpreting laws and regulations, understanding their responsibilities, and supporting library administration.
Contact: Rob Favini

Questions or Comments

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For More Information

Robert Favini, Head of Library Advisory and Development / Government Liaison
617-725-1860 x237
857-488-6590 (Mobile)