Good News for Libraries in Proposed House Budget


April 14, 2022
Matthew Perry
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x240

On Wednesday, April 13, 2022, the Massachusetts House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee released their proposal for the FY2023 budget. The budget includes increases for all line items that fund library services.

State Aid for Public Libraries (7000-9501) received a $1 million increase over the FY2022 budget, bringing it to $14,000,000. This line is a focus of the legislative agenda again this year. 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 (7000-9401), received $14,516,000, the amount requested in the FY23 Legislative Agenda. This line funds two organizations, the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) and the Library for the Commonwealth (LFC) at Boston Public Library. Both organizations have seen an increase in usage during the pandemic. BPL has had an 80% increase in eCard sign ups from Massachusetts residents, and MLS has had a 326% increase in attendance at their live learning opportunities for librarians, including trainings and support. This line item is also a focus of this year's legislative agenda. An increase of $1 million has been requested.

Library Technology and Resource Sharing (7000-9506) received $4,744,293 in funding, matching the Legislative Agenda requested funding. This line helps fund the nine automated resource sharing networks across the state as well as statewide databases. The networks have worked to provide important services for libraries in response to the pandemic.

The Massachusetts Center for the Book received the requested funding of $400,000. The Center operates as an affiliate of 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.

The Worcester Talking Book Library (7000-9402), and the Perkins Library (7000-9406) both received their requested levels of funding of $521,569 and $2,969,554 respectively. Both Perkins and Worcester have been able to continue providing important resources for those who are visually impaired during the pandemic.

The budget also includes a slight increase to $1,731,586 for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners administrative line (7000-9101).

The House will debate the budget and any amendments and vote on a final version the last week 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 FY2023 budget will be sent to the Governor to be put into place by July 1, 2022.

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.