Funding to Libraries Reduced in Governor’s Budget


July 11, 2016
Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

Governor Charlie Baker signed the $39 billion FY 2017 state budget proposal on July 8, 2016, vetoing $256 million in spending. Funding to libraries through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) was reduced by $450,009. Below are the MBLC budget lines that were vetoed or reduced in the governor's budget.

Line Item # Line Item FY 2016
Current Budget
FY 2017 Conference Committee Budget FY 2017 Governor's Budget Reduced/Veto
7000-9401 State Aid to Regional Libraries $9,883,482
+$55,000 (earmark)
$9,883,482 $9,770,379 Reduced by $113,103
7000-9501 State Aid to Public Libraries $9,000,000
$9,000,000 $8,897,007 Reduced by
7000-9402 Talking Book Library (Worcester) $446,828 $446,828 $441,715 Reduced by
7000-9406 Talking Book & Machine Lending (Perkins) $2,516,693 $2,516,693 $2,487,893 Reduced by
7000-9508 MA Center for the Book, Inc. $200,000 $200,000 $0 Vetoed

"Libraries provide vital services for all residents. Demand for services is up for the tenth year in a row. The statewide resource sharing system and the collaborative way in which we work has helped libraries maintain core services, but we can't provide the modern library services residents need when funding is reduced to a level that we haven't seen for nearly twenty years," said MBLC Director Dianne Carty.

The House and Senate may decide to override the governor's line item vetoes and reductions in funding for line item budgets. The legislature has until the end of July to override the governor's vetoes and reductions.

Funding to State Aid to Regional Libraries (7000-9401), which is currently lower than it was in FY 1998, directly affects the Massachusetts Library System and impacts the delivery of items that residents request through resource sharing. It also affects the availability of eBooks, research databases, and other statewide digital resources. This line also supports all residents' use of extensive resources offered through the Library for the Commonwealth at the Boston Public Library.

Funding from State Aid to Public Libraries (7000-9501), which is currently below 2001 levels, goes directly to local public libraries for use in any way that supports library services, including buying computers or keeping the library open.

The Talking Book Library (Worcester, 7000-9402) and the Talking Book & Machine Lending Library (Perkins, 7000-9406) serve as the public libraries for thousands of residents who are blind, have a physical disability that makes it difficult to hold a book or turn a page, or those with reading disabilities. Both are funded slightly below their FY 2016 level, which is also their funding high.

The Massachusetts Center for the Book (7000-9508), which was eliminated in the governor's budget, works to increase the importance of books, reading, literacy and libraries. This budget line was first funded in FY 2015.

Technology and Resource Sharing (7000-9506), which was not reduced in the governor's budget, is funded at a level that keeps the $652,674 (24%) budget cut imposed in FY 2016, impacting all Massachusetts libraries and automated library networks. Current funding to this line is below FY 1998 levels. The MBLC's administrative line (7000-9101) was level funded and is currently running in deficit. It is funded at FY 1998 levels. The MBLC is responsible for heading up statewide programs and services that impact all residents.

The MBLC's administrative line, Technology and Resource Sharing, State Aid to Public Libraries and State Aid to Regional Libraries form part of statewide resource sharing which was the priority in the MBLC's FY 2017 Legislative Agenda.

Below is the complete budget chart.

Item No. Item Name FY 2016 Budget FY 2017 Legislative Agenda Request FY 2017 House Budget FY 2017 Senate Budget FY 2017 Conference Committee Budget FY 2017 Governor's Budget
7000-9101 Board of Library Commissioners $1,077,431 $1,225,000 $1,077,431 $1,225,000 $1,077,431 $1,077,431
7000-9401 State Aid to Regional Libraries $9,883,482*
+55,000 (earmark)
$10,940,475 $10,133,482^ $9,883,482 $9,883,482 $9,770,379*
7000-9402 Talking Book Library (Worcester) $446,828 $460,233 $446,828 $446,828 $446,828 $441,715
7000-9406 Talking Book & Machine Lending (Perkins) $2,516,693 $2,592,194 $2,516,693 $2,516,693 $2,516,693 $2,487,893
7000-9501 State Aid to Public Libraries $9,000,000
+$29,000 (earmark)
$13,500,000 $9,500,000 $9,000,000 $9,000,000 $8,897,007
7000-9506 Library Technology & Resource Sharing $2,076,564
+$40,000 (earmark)
$6,000,000 $2,076,564 $2,376,564 $2,076,564 $2,076,564
7000-9508 Center for the Book $200,000 $206,000 $200,000 not funded $200,000 $0
TOTAL: $25,324,998 $34,923,902 $25,950,998 $25,448,567 $25,200,998 $24,750,989

* Library for the Commonwealth funded at 40.7 cents per capita
^ 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.