Senate Ways and Means Releases Budget Recommendation


May 17, 2016
Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means announced its FY 2017 budget recommendation on May 17. The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) listed the four line items that make up resource sharing as their funding priorities for FY 2017. Two of the lines, the MBLC's administrative line (7000-9101) and Technology and Resource Sharing (7000-9506) received funding increases in the Senate's recommendation, while the other two, State Aid to Regional Libraries (7000-9401) and State Aid to Public Libraries (7000-9501), were funded to levels that sustain previous funding reductions.

Statewide resource sharing saves local communities money while increasing patron access to resources. Lawrence residents, for example, borrowed more than 45,000 items from other libraries. Without resource sharing, the library would have to purchase these items, at an estimated cost of $450,000. See what other libraries borrowed.

The MBLC's administrative (7000-9101) line is currently running in deficit and is funded below FY 2001 levels. The MBLC is responsible for heading up statewide programs and services that impact all residents. The Senate recommended a total of $1,147,491 to bring the line back to its pre-9C cut level in FY 2015, but did not address the current budget shortfall in the line. Technology and Resource Sharing (7000-9506) received a $300,000 increase to bring its total to $2,376,564. This line impacts all Massachusetts libraries and automated library networks

The Senate recommendation also sustains the reductions to State Aid to Regional Libraries (7000-9401). Delivery of items that residents request through resource sharing will be impacted and the digital resources available to residents may also be limited. State Aid to Public Libraries (7000-9501), which provides the foundation for resource sharing, is funded lower than it was in 2006.

The Talking Book Library (Worcester, 7000-9402), the Talking Book & Machine Lending Library (Perkins, 7000-9406) were funded to the FY 2016 level, which is also their funding high. The Massachusetts Center for the Book (7000-9508) was not included in the budget recommendations.

Members of the Senate have until Thursday, May 19 at 5 p.m. to file amendments to the budget. Library leaders are working with legislators to file amendments that will bring funding closer to the levels requested in the FY 2017 Legislative Agenda. The budget will be debated on the Senate floor during the week of May 23. Following its passage, a conference committee will be formed with members from the House and the Senate to reconcile differences between the two chambers' versions of the budget.

Below is the Senate Ways and Means budget recommendation. Lines that are shaded in gray are necessary to statewide resource sharing.

Item No. Item Name FY 2016 Current Budget FY 2017 Request (Legislative Agenda) Historic High FY 2017 Governor's Budget FY 2017 House Budget FY 2017 Senate Ways and Means Budget Recommendation
7000-9101 Board of Library Commissioners $1,077,431 $1,225,000 $1,229,472
(FY 2001)
$1,077,431 $1,077,431 $1,147,491
7000-9401 State Aid to Regional Libraries $9,888,482
+$55,000 (earmark)
$10,940,475 $17,623,954
(FY 2002)
$9,883,4821 $10,133,4822 $9,883,4823
7000-9501 State Aid to Public Libraries $9,000,000
+$29,000 (earmark)
$13,500,000 $9,989,844
(FY 2009)
$9,000,000 $9,500,000 $9,000,000
7000-9506 Library Technology & Resource Sharing $2,076,564
+$40,000 (earmark)
$6,000,000 $4,420,235
(FY 2001)
$2,076,564 $2,076,564 $2,376,564
7000-9402 Talking Book Library (Worcester) $446,828 $460,233 $446,828
(FY 2016)
$446,828 $446,828 $446,828
7000-9406 Talking Book & Machine Lending (Perkins) $2,516,693 $2,592,194 $2,516,693
(FY 2016)
$2,516,693 $2,516,693 $2,516,693
7000-9508 MA Center for the Book, Inc. $200,000 $206,000 $200,000
(FY 2016)
$200,000 $200,000 -
TOTAL: $25,324,998 $34,923,902 $36,427,026 $25,200,998 $25,200,998 $25,324,998

1. Library for the Commonwealth funded at 39.4 cents per capita
2. Library for the Commonwealth funded at 40.7 cents per capita
3. Library for the Commonwealth funded at 44.7 cents per capita

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.