347 Libraries Certified for State Aid Awards


February 06, 2024
June Thammasnong
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

At its January Board Meeting, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) certified 65 additional municipalities meeting all FY2024 requirements for the State Aid to Public Libraries Program.  In total, 343 libraries have met all state aid requirements, 4 libraries requested waivers, and together 347 libraries have been awarded $17,600,000, the largest state awards in the history of the program.  The awards are released in two payments following the Commonwealth's disbursement schedule, with the second payments to libraries expected toward the end of the grant cycle in the spring.

“These awards are a recognition that Massachusetts communities are providing sufficient funding to their local libraries to ensure their participation in the state aid program,” said Chair MBLC Commissioner Debby Conrad.  “The increased funding from the Legislature has created a robust and meaningful source of state support to public libraries throughout the Commonwealth.”

At its February Board Meeting, the MBLC Commissioners approved waivers of the Municipal Appropriations Requirement (MAR) for 4 applicants. This is the lowest number of MAR waiver applicants since 2002.  The MAR is funding, required in statute, to be provided by the municipality to support the library. This and other State Aid requirements help create a strong foundation for reciprocal borrowing that allows patrons from certified libraries to borrow materials from other libraries. Of the 4 libraries that applied for FY2024 MAR waivers, 3 provided budget increases to their libraries, but the increases were not sufficient to reach the MAR and were under the 5% disproportionate cut threshold. These 3 municipalities are Clarksburg, Lawrence, and Stoughton. Wayland was granted a waiver with a cut over 5% of the disproportionate cut threshold at -9.26%.  This disproportionate budget reduction was due to a one-time clerical error made by the previous library director. 

Since 2020, municipalities and their libraries that do not meet the MAR and request a waiver must adhere to 5-Year Waiver Policy.  The 5-year plan helps libraries and their municipalities meet the MAR and increase the funding appropriation to the required level. Lawrence and Stoughton submitted Year 3 Waivers. Clarksburg and Wayland submitted Year 1 waivers. 

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 library visitors value most. It allows library 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 State Aid to Public Library 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.