Sandwich Regains State Aid Certification


March 03, 2016
Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

At its March meeting, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) voted to grant the appeal of the FY 2016 Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR) to Sandwich, rescinding its denial of the waiver on February 4. This action certifies the library to participate in the FY 2016 State Aid to Public Libraries program.

As a certified library in the State Aid program, Sandwich will receive funding in the amount of $23,178.50 and is eligible for grants from the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) and the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant program. As part of the Municipal Preservation Assessment LSTA grant from the MBLC, the library will be participating in a preservation assessment conducted by the Northeast Document Conservation Center.

Town residents are also guaranteed reciprocal borrowing. In 2015, Sandwich residents borrowed more than 23,000 items from other libraries in Massachusetts.

At the March 3 meeting, Town Manager Bud Dunham, Chairman of Library Trustees Jennifer Tickell, and Ms. Lamothe were present. Mr. Dunham presented Commissioners with extensive information on the staffing changes and additional library funding. Commissioners thanked Mr. Dunham for the thorough presentation and commented that the information provided the clarification they needed.

For the FY 2016 State Aid to Public Libraries program, 343 communities have been certified with 294 of those communities meeting full program requirements. Commissioners approved MAR waivers for 49 communities. Two communities, Sandwich and New Bedford, had disproportionate budget cuts that exceeded 5%.

To date, the MBLC has awarded $4,378,916 in State Aid funding. This is roughly half of the total funding certified libraries will receive. Following the Commonwealth's disbursement schedule, additional payments to libraries are expected toward the end of the grant cycle in the spring.

Funding from the State Aid to Public Libraries program goes directly to support public library services. The borrowing reciprocity that comes with library certification in the State Aid program is often what patrons value most. It allows them to borrow from and use any certified library in the Commonwealth, giving patrons access to more than 53 million items available through the shared system.

Increasing funding for State Aid to Public Libraries and other budget lines that support resource sharing is a priority in the FY 2017 Legislative Agenda. More information about the State Aid to Public Libraries program is available on the MBLC website, along with a list of municipalities that are currently certified and those that are not certified in the program.

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.