347 Municipalities Certified in State Aid Program


February 07, 2022
Matthew Perry
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x240

At its February Board Meeting, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) approved twenty-eight Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR) Waiver applications. The MAR is funding from the municipality to support the library. This and other requirements of the State Aid to Public Libraries program help create a foundation for reciprocal borrowing that allows patrons from certified libraries to borrow materials from other libraries. Libraries that have received a budget cut can apply for a waiver from the Board to continue participating in the State Aid program.

Of the libraries that initially applied for a waiver, eighteen received increased funding making a waiver unnecessary, and the remaining ten received a cut less than five percent. Five percent is used as the benchmark for disproportionate cuts that may indicate the library has been targeted for budget reductions greater than other municipal departments. The Commissioners unanimously approved waivers for the remaining libraries, certifying them in the FY2022 State Aid to Public Libraries program.

The number of libraries requesting a MAR waiver is down from fifty-two requests in FY2021 to the twenty-eight requests this year. State Aid certification was awarded to all 347 public libraries that applied for FY2022.

In addition to the vote on waivers, Commissioners also voted to suspend the Hours Open Requirement of the State Aid program from December 20, 2021 through April 4, 2022. This is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the current struggles related to the Omicron variant of the disease.

Funding from the State Aid to Public Library Program goes directly to support public library services. The reciprocity that comes with library certification in the State Aid 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 73 million items available through the shared library system.

More information about the State Aid to Public Libraries Program is available on the MBLC website along with a list of municipalities that are currently certified and those that are not certified in the program.

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.