Massachusetts House Approves Budget with Increases for Libraries


May 01, 2019
Matthew Perry
Outreach Coordinator
1-800-952-7403 x208

On Thursday, April 23, the Massachusetts House of Representatives approved $42.7 billion in spending for FY2020. The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) received a total increase of $2,195,546 in its budget over FY2019, for a total funding amount of $29,424,435. Three of the Board’s line items had amendments, with two, 7000-9401 and 7000-9501, receiving increases, while 7000-9508, the Massachusetts Center for the Book, did not. The detailed budget chart can be seen on the MBLC website.

Line item 7000-9401, State Aid to Regional Libraries, received a $1.1 million increase through an amendment, bringing its total to $11,484,961. This line item provides critical funding to the Massachusetts Library System for statewide library delivery, and to the Library for the Commonwealth at the Boston Public Library. Delivery service is in jeopardy without a sustained increase in funding.

Line item 7000-9501, State Aid to Public Libraries, received an increase of $568,000. Of that increase, $400,000 goes directly to the State Aid program, while $168,000 is in the form of individual earmarks for a total of $10,024,327. These earmarks go towards special local projects for the libraries receiving them.

The Massachusetts Center for the Book’s amendment to increase its budget to $300,000 did not pass. Their funding remained at the House Ways and Means amount of $200,000, the same amount they have received for the past five years.

Line item 7000-9101, the MBLC administrative line received $1,322,130 which is above the Legislative Agenda ask of $1,313,250. Line items 7000-9402 and 7000-9406, the Worcester and Perkins talking book libraries both received the Legislative Agenda ask of $468,217 and $2,665,800 respectively. Line item 7000-9506, Technology and Resource Sharing received the requested $3,259,000.

The Massachusetts State Senate Committee on Ways and Means will now release their proposed budget. This will be amended and debated by the Senate, before moving on to a conference committee, and finally to the Governor for possible vetoes and a signature. FY2020 begins on July 1, 2019.

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.