Library Line Items Receive Increases in Senate Ways and Means Budget


May 16, 2017
Matthew Perry
Outreach Coordinator
1-800-952-7403 x208

On May 16, 2017 the Senate Committee on Ways and Means announced its FY2018 budget recommendation. Included were increases to six of the line items that go directly to funding library services and resources. Not included in the recommendation was funding for the Massachusetts Center for the Book (7000-9508).

“We are very pleased to see increases in many of the line items that help Massachusetts libraries on a daily basis” said MBLC Director Dianne Carty. “Funding for libraries is just .06% of the state budget, but positively affects every resident of the Commonwealth.”

The MBLC’s administrative line item (7000-9101) was funded at the amount requested in the FY2018 Legislative agenda, $1,225,000. This line item has been in deficit, and its restoration would ensure that key services performed by the MBLC will continue. Also funded to the amount requested were the Worcester Talking Book Library (7000-9402) and the Perkins Talking Book Library (7000-9406) at $450,115 and $2,562,528 respectively.

State Aid to Public Libraries (7000-9501) received a $250,000 increase above the amount given in the final FY2018 House Budget, to bring the total to $9,750,000. State aid money can be used by local libraries in any way that supports the library.

State Aid to Regional Libraries (7000-9401) received an increase of $500,000 over the FY2017 budget, to bring it to $10,383,482. This funding goes towards funding of the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) and the Library for the Commonwealth at the Boston Public Library (LFC). The recommendation also raises the per capita funding to the LFC from 40.7 cents to 42.7 cents.

Library Technology and Resource Sharing (7000-9506) was funded at $2,297,330, a $220,766 increase over the FY2017 budget. This amount is also $120,766 above where the line was funded in the Houses FY2018 budget.

Funding for the Massachusetts Center for the Book (7000-9508) was not included in the budget recommendation. The House gave the Center for the book $200,000 in its final budget. An amendment will be filed by Senator Jen Flanagan to restore this funding.

Members of the Senate have until Friday, May 19 at 5 p.m. to file amendments to the budget. The budget will be debated on the Senate floor during the week of May 22. Following its passage, the final House budget and final Senate budget will be reconciled by a conference committee.

Below is the Senate Ways and Means budget recommendation. 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 Budget Recommendation FY 2018 Senate Ways & Means Budget
7000-9101 Board of Library Commissioners $1,077,431 $1,225,000 $1,088,205 $1,088,205 $1,225,000
7000-9401 State Aid to Regional Libraries $9,883,482 $10,948,670 $9,982,317 $10,182,317 $10,383,482‡‡
7000-9402 Talking Book Library (Worcester) $441,715 $450,115 $446,132 $496,131†† $450,115
7000-9406 Talking Book & Machine Lending (Perkins) $2,487,893 $2,562,528 $2,512,772 $2,562,528 $2,562,528
7000-9501 State Aid to Public Libraries $9,000,000 $10,127,412 $9,090,000 $9,500,000 $9,750,000
7000-9506 Library Technology & Resource Sharing $2,076,564 $3,259,000 $2,097,330 $2,197,330 $2,297,330
7000-9508 Center for the Book $200,000 $210,000 $202,000 $200,000  
TOTAL: $25,167,085 $28,782,725 $25,418,756 $26,226,511 $26,668,455

Library for the Commonwealth funded at 40.7 cents per capita

Library for the Commonwealth funded at 43.9 cents per capita

‡‡ Library for the Commonwealth funded at 42.7 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.