Governor Releases FY 2017 Budget Recommendations


January 28, 2016
Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

On January 27, 2016, Governor Charlie Baker released his FY 2017 budget recommendations. After removing $124,000 in earmarks to individual libraries from the FY 2016 budget, state funding to libraries is level-funded to FY 2016 totals. In a climate where libraries are struggling to maintain network membership and the statewide resource sharing system is at risk, this was not welcome news for the library community.

Level funding to Technology and Resource Sharing (line item 7000-9506) means that the $652,674 cut to this line in the FY 2016 budget remains. This cut forced the MBLC to reduce funding that supports the nine automated library networks, as well as the Small Libraries in Networks program, by 25%.

This is likely to cause either an increase in the membership fees libraries pay to belong to a network or a scaling back of the services networks are able to offer their library members. Libraries in the Central/Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing (C/W MARS) Network have already received notice that membership fees will increase between 6% to as much as 15% for individual libraries.

Libraries pay a membership fee to belong to an automated library network, giving their residents access to more than 53 million items from libraries across the Commonwealth.

The MBLC's administrative account (line item 7000-9101), reduced by 4% in the FY 2016 budget, will be running a deficit by the end of this fiscal cycle. The governor's recommendation means that the MBLC administrative account will be below the 2001 level.

In addition, per capita funding to Library for the Commonwealth was reduced to 39.4 from 40.7. The Library for the Commonwealth, statewide services provided through the Boston Public Library, is instrumental in providing eBooks, streaming audio and video, and digital collections and preservation for all residents of Massachusetts.

The library community has made funding for statewide resource sharing the priority in the FY 2017 Legislative Agenda and has requested increases in the budget lines that make resource sharing possible.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives is set to release its budget in April, followed by the Senate budget in May. After each chamber votes on its budget, a conference committee is formed to determine the final FY 2017 funding levels.

FY 2017 MBLC Budget Progress & Recent History

Line Item # Line Item High FY 2016 Budget 2017 Budget Request 2017 Governor's Budget
7000-9101 Board of Library Commissioners $1,229,472
(FY 2001)
$1,077,431 $1,225,000 $1,077,431
7000-9401 State Aid to Regional Libraries $17,623,954
(FY 2002)
$9,938,482 $10,940,475 $9,883,482
7000-9402 Talking Book Library (Worcester) $446,828
(FY 2016)
$446,828 $460,233 $446,828
9000-9406 Talking Book & Machine Lending (Perkins) $2,516,693
(FY 2016)
$2,516,693 $2,592,194 $2,516,693
7000-9501 State Aid to Public Libraries $9,989,844
(FY 2009)
$9,029,000 $13,500,000 $9,000,000
7000-9506 Library Technology & Resource Sharing $4,420,235
(FY 2001)
$2,116,564 $6,000,000 $2,076,564
7000-9508 MA Center for the Book $200,000
(FY 2016)
$200,000 $206,000 $200,000

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.