The House Committee on Ways and Means announced its Fiscal Year 2016 budget recommendation on April 15, 2015. The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) received an overall funding decrease of $1,163,741 from the original FY2015 budget. The levels are also lower than what was requested by MBLC in the FY2016 Legislative Agenda.
The House recommended a $652,674 reduction to Technology and Resource Sharing (7000-9506).
The recommended reduction to State Aid to Public Libraries (7000-9501) totals more than $152,700.
Funding for the Massachusetts Center for the Book (7000-9508) was eliminated completely.
Below is information on library budget amendments:
1) Representative Hogan will be filing an amendment to providestate aid to public libraries (7000-9501). Libraries use state aid funds to meet the needs of local residents including keeping libraries open, purchasing computers and running homework centers and job-search workshops. As long as libraries are certified in the State Aid to Public Libraries Program, residents can use any public library and access resources from the entire state. An increase of $1,000,000 over HWM appropriations is being request with this amendment.
2) Representative Hogan will be filing an amendment to restore funding for the Massachusetts Center for the Book (MCB) (7000-9508), a public-private partnership charged with raising funds to develop, support and promote programming for libraries throughout the Commonwealth. By restoring funding to the FY15 level, the MCB is able to sponsor programming that expands our circle of readers and that deepens our understanding of and appreciation for the past, present and future of the book and of the book arts in Massachusetts; it emphasizes the central role libraries play in civic and cultural life.
3) Representative Mark will be filing an amendmentrelative to technology and automated resource-sharing networks (7000-9506). Libraries provide residents with access to current technology such as Wi-Fi, digital resources and Internet access, but the automated networks are “behind the scenes” making these and other services, including interlibrary loan, available and affordable to libraries. This line item also makes network membership possible for the smallest public libraries, those with populations under 10,000, through the Small Libraries in Network Program. An increase of $1,000,000 over HWM appropriations is being request with this amendment.Updated: July 9, 2015