Library Funding Exceeds Legislative Ask


August 12, 2019
Matthew Perry
Outreach Coordinator
1-800-952-7403 x208

On Wednesday, July 31, 2019, Governor Charlie Baker signed the FY2020 Massachusetts state budget which includes increases to six of the line items overseen by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), and level funding for the Massachusetts Center for the Book (7000-9508). The Legislative Conference Committee included an additional $1,000,000 to be added to Library Technology and Resource Sharing (7000-9506). The budget was approved by the Governor with no vetoes. The funding increases will help sustain and improve library services across the Commonwealth for the next fiscal year.

“We are grateful for the funding increases given by the legislature and Governor, and to have their ongoing support of the Commonwealth’s libraries” said MBLC Chair Roland Ochsenbein. “It is important that this funding is sustained in upcoming fiscal years in order to continue the work being done to improve library services for all Massachusetts residents.”

State Aid to Regional Libraries (7000-9401) which funds the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) and the Library for the Commonwealth at the Boston Public Library (LFC) received the $11,516,000 that was requested in the legislative agenda, which will go to ensuring that delivery of library items is preserved. The Worcester Talking Book Library (7000-9402), Perkins Library (7000-9406), and State Aid to Public Libraries (7000-9501) also received their requested amounts; however, State Aid also received an additional $158,000 in local project earmarks. The MBLC Admin line (7000-9101) received an additional $8,880 above its requested amount, and Technology and Resource Sharing (7000-9506) received an additional $1,443,072 above its FY2019 amount. The Massachusetts Center for the Book (7000-9508) was level funded at $200,000.

The totals for the line items can be seen in the chart below:

Line Item

FY2019 Budget

Legislative Agenda Request

Final FY2020 budget


MBLC Admin






State Aid to Regional Libraries






Worcester Talking Book Library






Perkins Library






State Aid to Public Libraries






Library Technology and Resource Sharing






Mass Center for the Book Inc.





Level Funded

*Includes $158,000 in local project earmarks on State Aid to Public Libraries (7000-9501)


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.