Successful State Aid 2023


February 02, 2023
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

At its February Board Meeting, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) wrapped up the FY2023 State Aid to Public Libraries application process by approving waivers of Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR) for eight applicants. FY2023 State Aid program grants total more than $16 million, the largest in the program’s 100 year history. This is the 3rd year that the program has maintained the record high of 347 libraries state aid certified.

The increase in the grant amounts has benefited local libraries that may use state aid funding to buy computers, increase hours, buy materials, or in any way that directly supports the library. Attleboro, for example, went from $59,422.67 in state aid funding in 2015 to an estimated* $108,778 in the current cycle. Libraries have received roughly half their grant awards and following the Commonwealth's disbursement schedule, additional payments to libraries are expected toward the end of the grant cycle in the spring.

Libraries in Duxbury, Fairhaven, Hanover, Lawrence, Stoughton, Walpole, Ware and Woburn received MAR waivers. The number of libraries needing a MAR waiver is lower than pre-pandemic levels when 15 libraries were granted waivers and sharply lower than the 2011 high of 123 waivers. The MAR is municipal funding to support the library. This and other requirements help create a foundation for reciprocal borrowing which allows patrons to use any State Aid certified library in the Commonwealth and gives them access to more than 59 million items available through the shared library system.

More information about the benefits of the State Aid to Public Libraries Program and additional program information 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.

 *Exact awards are currently being calculated.

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.