Millville Loses State Aid Certification


February 07, 2019
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

At its February board meeting, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) denied the town of Millville a waiver of the FY2019 Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR). The MAR is funding from the municipality to support the public  library as required in statute.

In FY 2019, Millville Public Library’s budget was cut 68.51% when compared to the overall municipal budget.

This is the second time in seven years that Millville has lost certification. Millville may appeal the board’s decision which would result in a hearing at the March board meeting and a determination at the April board meeting.

Denial of the MAR waiver results in immediate loss of certification in the State Aid to Public Libraries Program.

Millville will not receive the estimated award amount of $3775.10 from the State Aid to Public Libraries Program. The library is not eligible for grants from either the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program or the Library Services and Technology Act program, and neighboring libraries are not required to extend borrowing privileges to Millville residents.

Commissioners also approved MAR waivers for 15 communities. This is the lowest number of MAR waiver applicants since 2008 and well below the 2011 high of 123 waivers.

The MAR and other State Aid to Public Libraries Program requirements help create a strong foundation for reciprocal borrowing that allows patrons from certified libraries to check out materials from other libraries around the Commonwealth. Each year patrons borrow over 6 million items from libraries outside their own communities.

For the FY2019 State Aid to Public Libraries Program, 344 communities have been certified with 329 of those communities meeting all program requirements. To date, the MBLC has awarded $4,611,619.13 in state aid funding. This is roughly half of the total state aid funding that these libraries will receive. Following the Commonwealth's disbursement schedule, additional payments to libraries are expected toward the end of the grant cycle in the spring.

Funding from the State Aid to Public Libraries program goes directly to support public library services. The borrowing reciprocity that comes with library certification in the State Aid program is often what patrons value most. It allows them to borrow from and use any certified library in the Commonwealth, giving patrons access to more than 53 million items available through the shared system. Increasing funding for State Aid to Public Libraries is requested in the FY 2020 Legislative Agenda. More information about the State Aid to Public Libraries program is available on the MBLC website, along with a list of municipalities that are currently certified and those that are not certified in the program.

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.