MBLC Seeks Overrides of Governor's Vetoes


July 22, 2016
Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is asking legislators to override the vetoes made by Governor Charlie Baker on line items used to fund important library resources. Library lines currently face a $450,009 cut in the budget signed by Governor Baker on July 8. The Massachusetts House and Senate have until July 31 to override vetoes or leave the cuts in place.

"It is crucial that these cuts in funding be restored to sustain the services and resources that the Board and its partners are currently providing," said MBLC Chair Mary Ann Cluggish. "The library community is still recovering from cuts that were imposed last year, and this additional funding loss will only add stress to an already fragile funding situation for the Commonwealth's libraries."

The reductions bring funding to State Aid to Regional Libraries (7000-9401) back to FY 1998 levels, and State Aid to Public Libraries (7000-9501) back to FY 2001 levels. These two line items have been identified as override priorities as they play important roles in resource sharing among Massachusetts libraries. Both lines were priorities in the FY 2017 Legislative Agenda.

In addition, funding was reduced to the Worcester Talking Book Library (7000-9402) and the Perkins Talking Book and Machine Lending Library (7000-9406), which both 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 have 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) had its funding completely eliminated in the governor's final budget. The Center 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) was cut 24 percent (-$652,674) in FY 2016. It was not cut further this year in the governor's budget. Current funding to this line is now below FY 1998 levels, directly impacting all Massachusetts libraries and networks.

The MBLC's administrative line (7000-9101) was level funded and is currently running in deficit. It too is funded at FY 1998 levels. The MBLC is responsible for heading up statewide programs and services and distributing federal grants that impact all residents.

A budget chart with the complete funding for the MBLC's line items can be found below.

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.