Senate Funds Five Line Items to the Amount Requested


May 11, 2018
Matthew Perry
Outreach Coordinator
1-800-952-7403 x208

On Thursday, May 10, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means released their FY2019 budget. Five of the seven budget line items overseen by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) received the funding request by the Board in the FY2019 Legislative Agenda. The Massachusetts Center for the Book (7000-9508) was left unfunded. The detailed budget chart can be seen on the MBLC website.

In its FY2019 legislative agenda, the MBLC requested a significant increase in the MBLC's administrative line, 7000-9101, as well as modest increases for State Aid to Regional Libraries (7000-9401), the Worcester Talking Book Library (7000-9402), the Perkins Library (7000-9406), and State Aid to Public Libraries (7000-9501). All of these lines received the requested funding.

The Board also requested a substantial increase in the Technology and Resource Sharing line, 7000-9506, which is 52% lower than it was in 2001. This line received a significant increase of $500,000, however, this is short of the $1,161,670 increase requested by the Board. Funding from this line supports the nine Automated Library Networks. The Networks play a vital role in critical library services such as interlibrary loan, and technology for libraries and their staffs. Lack of funding to this account passes costs of library networking back to cities and towns and denies residents access to essential electronic research materials to support education and economic development.

The Massachusetts Center for the Book was eliminated in the budget proposal. The Center received level funding in the Governor's budget proposal and the final House budget to the FY2018 amount of $200,000.

Members of the Senate have until Wednesday, May 16 at 5 p.m. to file amendments to the budget. Library leaders are currently working with legislators to file amendments that will restore funding to the Center for the Book and bring technology funding closer to the level requested in the Legislative Agenda. The budget will be debated on the Senate floor during the week of May 21. Following its passage, a conference committee will be formed to work out differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget.

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.