House Adopts FY2018 Budget


April 27, 2017
Matthew Perry
Outreach Coordinator
1-800-952-7403 x208

On Tuesday, April 25, the Massachusetts House of Representatives adopted its version of the FY2018 state spending bill. Included in the final version of the budget was increased funding for four library line items and the addition of funding for the Massachusetts Center for the Book.

State Aid to Regional Libraries (7000-9401) received an increase of $200,000 which will go towards funding of the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) and the Library for the Commonwealth at the Boston Public Library (LFC). The amendment also raised the per capita funding to the LFC from 40.7 cents to 43.9 cents. This line item funds the delivery of items that residents request through resource sharing as well as the availability of eBooks, research databases, and other digital resources.

An amendment was passed to increase funding to the Technology and Resource Sharing line (7000-9506) by $100,000, bringing the total to $2,197,330. This funding will go towards improving infrastructure for the nine automated resource sharing networks in Massachusetts that will increase network bandwidth to libraries. Currently 360 libraries in Massachusetts fall below the FCC guideline for internet bandwidth. Funding will also go towards offsetting the cost of network membership for 328 libraries, including 162 who are part of the Small Libraries in Networks Program. This allows residents to have access to materials from across the Commonwealth that would otherwise be unavailable to them.

The Talking Book and Machine Lending Library at Perkins School for the Blind (7000-9406) received the requested increase of $49,756, bringing the final amount to $2,562,528. This line supports Massachusetts residents who are blind or visually impaired, and this increase will provide access to 500,000 audio and braille titles, and to materials on digital cartridges.

The Talking Book Library at Worcester Public Library (7000-9402) received a $50,000 increase, however this funding was earmarked for a bookmobile for the Worcester Public Library, and does not support services for the blind and visually impaired. This also leaves funding for the Talking Book Library below the funding requested in the MBLC’s Legislative Agenda.

An amendment also passed to fund the Massachusetts Center for the Book (7000-9508) at $200,000. Funding for this line item was not included in the original House Ways and Means proposal.

State Aid to Public Libraries (7000-9501) received a $410,000 increase in the House Ways and Means proposal, but did not receive any additional funding through an amendment that was filed. The MBLC’s administrative line item (7000-9101) was the only one to not receive any increase in funding, and remains in deficit. For more information on library line items, and the amounts requested for FY2018, please see the MBLC’s Legislative Agenda.

Below is a chart with the final details of the House budget. The budget now goes on to the Senate where the Senate Ways and Means version is expected to be released in early May. More information on the budget process and funding history can be found here.

Item No. Item Name FY 2017 Budget FY 2018 Legislative
Agenda Request
FY 2018 Governor's Budget FY 2018 House Ways and Means Budget Recommendation FY 2018 House Final Budget Recommendation
7000-9101 Board of Library Commissioners $1,077,431 $1,225,000 $1,088,205 $1,088,205 $1,088,205
7000-9401 State Aid to Regional Libraries $9,883,482 $10,948,670 $9,982,317 $9,982,317 $10,182,317
7000-9402 Talking Book Library (Worcester) $441,715 $450,115 $446,132 $446,131 $496,131††
7000-9406 Talking Book & Machine Lending (Perkins) $2,487,893 $2,562,528 $2,512,772 $2,512,772 $2,562,528
7000-9501 State Aid to Public Libraries $9,000,000 $10,127,412 $9,090,000 $9,500,000 $9,500,000
7000-9506 Library Technology & Resource Sharing $2,076,564 $3,259,000 $2,097,330 $2,097,330 $2,197,330
7000-9508 Center for the Book $200,000 $210,000 $202,000 $0 $200,000
TOTAL: $25,167,085 $28,782,725 $25,418,756 $25,626,755 $26,226,511

Library for the Commonwealth funded at 40.7 cents per capita

Library for the Commonwealth funded at 43.9 cents per capita

†† Includes a $50,000 earmark for Worcester Public Library not related to Talking Book funding

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.