The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners urges local officials to maintain library funding and staffing during the pandemic


August 07, 2020
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) has been made aware that some cities and towns are laying off library staff and disproportionately cutting library budgets in comparison to other municipal departments.

During the pandemic, library workers have stepped up to meet the needs of their communities by providing:

  • Increased digital resources, including eBooks and Audiobooks
  • Virtual programming
  • Information literacy instruction
  • Telephone outreach to members of the community
  • Curbside delivery of library materials
  • Curbside faxing, printing and photocopying service
  • Summer learning programs

Libraries always experience increased demand during difficult economic times, like the current climate brought on by the pandemic, as residents turn to them for crucial services like internet access, job searching resources, and professional reference services. For kids and teens unable to return to classrooms, library resources and access to professional library staff are vital for home learning.

Libraries, free to all, are needed now more than ever. The MBLC urges all local officials to keep libraries funded and staffed so that they can continue to provide all residents information and educational resources in this extraordinary time of need.

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.