Governor Releases FY2021 Budget Recommendation


January 27, 2020
Matthew Perry
Outreach Coordinator
1-800-952-7403 x240

On January 22, 2020, Governor Baker released his budget proposal for FY2021. It includes a $233,779 increase for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners administrative line (7000-9101); a 1% increase in funding for State Aid to Regional Libraries (7000-9401), State Aid to Public Libraries (7000-9501), and Library Technology and Resource Sharing (7000-9506); and level funding for the Massachusetts Center for the Book (7000-9508), the Worcester Talking Book Library (7000-9402) and the Perkins Library (7000-9406). A full budget chart can be seen here.

State Aid to Public Libraries was the focus of the FY2021 MBLC Legislative Agenda. The $10,000,092 received is below the $12,000,000 that was requested by the Commissioners. State Aid to Public Libraries is an annual, voluntary program administered by the MBLC that distributes local aid to municipalities. The funds received through State Aid can be used for any purpose that supports the library.

State Aid to Regional Libraries funds two organizations, the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) and the Library for the Commonwealth (LFC) at Boston Public Library. The recommended funding of $11,631,160 is a 1% increase in funding from FY2020. Sustainable funding for this line helps to maintain delivery service levels for residents of the Commonwealth.

Technology and Resource Sharing (7000-9506) increased to $4,301,590. The additional funds provided in the FY2020 budget have allowed the MBLC to increase support for library’s eBook collections, and increase the number of databases available statewide.

The Massachusetts Center for the Book was level funded again at $200,000. The Center operates as an affiliate of a federal agency, the Library of Congress (LOC), and represents the Commonwealth in several high-profile national initiatives, providing links for Massachusetts libraries to the programs and resources of LOC. It has received the same level of funding since FY2016.

The Worcester Talking Book Library (7000-9402), and the Perkins Library (7000-9406) both received level funding.

The House Committee on Ways and Means will now develop their own budget to be debated by House members in April. Following passage of the House version of the budget, the Senate will vote on their version in May. A conference committee will reconcile any differences between the two versions, and the FY2021 budget will be sent to the Governor to be put into place by July 1, 2020.

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.