328 State Aid Certified So Far


December 30, 2019
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

At its December Board Meeting, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) approved the final group of libraries that met all requirements for the State Aid to Public Libraries Program. To date, 328 communities have been certified and more than $4.5 million has been awarded in state aid funding. This is roughly half of the total state aid funding that certified libraries will receive.

Funding from the State Aid to Public Library Program  directly supports public library services. The reciprocity that comes with library certification in this voluntary program is often what patrons value most. It allows them to use any State Aid certified library in the Commonwealth and gives patrons access to more than 55 million items available through the shared library system. Last year patrons borrowed more than seven million items from outside their own communities.

To be certified each fiscal year in the State Aid to Public Libraries Program, a municipality and its library must meet the  Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR)  and the Minimum Standards of Free Public Library Service. In January, Commissioners will consider applications from 17 libraries that need a waiver of the MAR in order to be certified in the program. The MAR is funding from the municipality to support the library.

MBLC Commissioners have made increased funding to State Aid to Public Libraries a priority in the FY2021 Legislative Agenda.  Please visit for more information

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.