NEWS RELEASE

LEA Content Grant Amounts Increased

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 18, 2019
Matthew Perry
Outreach Coordinator
1-800-952-7403 x240
matthew.s.perry@state.ma.us

At their December board meeting, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) approved $500,000 of LEA Content Grants to the eight automated resource sharing networks that contribute to the Library eBooks and Audiobooks (LEA) program. This is a $100,000 increase to the grants approved at the November 7, 2019 board meeting. These funds directly support the continually growing demand for eBooks and Audiobooks across the Commonwealth through the purchase of eContent.

The grants were given in the following amounts:

CLAMS - $44,170.27

CW MARS - $70,440.13

MBLN - $116,139.90

Minuteman Library Network - $103,834.10

MVLC - $32,938.49

NOBLE - $33,519.82

OCLN - $47,434.00

SAILS - $51,523.49

LEA allows Massachusetts library users to access eBooks, audiobooks, and more from 345 participating libraries from across the Commonwealth. This statewide system allows eContent to be shared in a similar way to how physical materials are shared through the delivery system, opening up access that was previously unavailable for eBooks and audiobooks. Over 350,000 titles are available to borrow.

Despite the progress made with borrowing for patrons, the current marketplace for digital books bears little resemblance to that for physical books. Prices and license periods for eContent are in constant flux, and are often a burden for libraries with tight budgets. The LEA Content Grants significantly supplement networks’ own collection development purchases, and will help to reduce hold queues and patron wait times while increasing the breadth of the collection.

Funding for the LEA Content Grant is possible through a significant increase in state funding to the MBLC’s Library Technology and Resource Sharing budget line. LEA Content Grants will be available for the current fiscal year. Residents can find more information and start using LEA on mass.gov/libraries. The MBLC also provides $102,000 towards the fees networks pay to use OverDrive, the software and app that delivers the eContent for LEA.

LEA is made possible by the Massachusetts Automated Library Networks, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the Massachusetts Library System and local libraries, funded in part by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

About MBLC

The Board of Library Commissioners (mass.gov/mblc) 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.