Taylor Memorial Library uses LSTA Grant to Join Automated Library Network


April 03, 2020
Matthew Perry
Outreach Coordinator
1-800-952-7403 x240

The Taylor Memorial Library in Hancock joined the C/W MARS Automated Network with assistance from a Library Services and Technology (LSTA) grant given by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). They are one of seven libraries that have joined C/W MARS in the last five years with grant assistance; the others include Ashburnham, Blandford, Charlemont (which also serves Hawley), Tolland, Oakham, and Lanesborough. 

"When I heard that Hancock was going to be able to join C/W MARS, I was surprised” said MBLC Library Information Systems Specialist Paul Kissman. “If the public library in a town as small as Hancock can find the wherewithal to join a network, with some MBLC assistance, it gives me great hope for other small towns that are not yet members."

The MBLC approved the Joining Networks Grant of $2,600 at the April 2020 board meeting for the Taylor Memorial Library to offset the cost of network membership in their first year.  After the first year in the network, small libraries then receive assistance through the Small Libraries in Networks grant funded through state budget line item 7000-9506, Technology and Resource sharing. To be eligible for this grant, the library must be in a municipality having a population less than 10,000 residents. Six networks receive Small Libraries in Networks grants to offset the membership costs for 143 libraries across the Commonwealth.

Network membership benefits libraries in numerous ways including access to cataloging, eContent, and technical support that is much greater than what any one library can afford on its own. In addition, network membership allows library patrons access to materials from across the network and across the state, greatly expanding a library’s catalog beyond what is available in its building.

“C/W MARS is thrilled to welcome our new member!” said Executive Director Jeanette Lundgren. “We are grateful for the grant funding that makes membership affordable for smaller libraries and communities in Massachusetts. When a library joins C/W MARS their local residents and patrons have access to the collections of all 149 C/W MARS member libraries which include over 8 million physical items and 98,000 electronic.”

In November, the MBLC awarded $2.7 million to support Automated Networks and network membership. In addition, $500,000 was awarded to Networks for eContent purchases to support the new eBook and audiobook program LEA. This is due to an increase in state funding to budget line 7000-9506.

In addition to the Joining Networks grant program, the MBLC uses federal LSTA funding to provide direct grant funding for library programming, support statewide library services and resource sharing, including the Commonwealth Catalog, preservation and disaster recovery in cultural institutions, online research databases in conjunction with the Massachusetts Library System, statewide eBook and audiobooks,  and the statewide library resource website for residents. More information about LSTA is available on the MBLC website.

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.