Small Public Libraries

The MBLC recognizes an additional commitment to small public libraries in Massachusetts through a variety of programs and services. Small public libraries are generally recognized as public libraries in municipalites under 10,000 in population.

Small Libraries in Networks Grants

The Small Libraries in Network program helps Massachusetts public libraries in municipalites under 10,000 afford membership in an automated resource sharing network. The MBLC believes that full participation in a resource sharing network is the best way to fully serve residents and provide equal access to materials from all over the state.

LSTA grants will help a small library join a network.  The network applies on behalf of your library.

Annual support through account 7000-9506 helps offset the annual costs of membership.  Offsets between $1,200 and $2,700 are adjusted based on the library's budget vs. the network assessment and the municipal EQV.

Small Library Forums

MBLC and MLS jointly produce small library forums to provide continuing education and best practices for libraries, as well as to hear from the small library community.  Libraries are also able to showcase projects and services that might be replicated by their peers.

Recordings of the presentations from the 2020 Small Libraries Forum: Small Libraries, Big Connections! are available via MLS’ vimeo site. The forum was made possible by a grant from the Manton Foundation.

The 4th Small Libraries Forum will take place in November 2021. If you have any questions, please get in touch with either Kristi Chadwick at MLS ( or Lyndsay Forbes at MBLC (


Construction Projects for Small Libraries

MBLC construction consulting staff have expertise with all sizes of public libraries. Support for small libraries in particular is being developed.

MBLC Professional Collection

The MBLC library has a number of publications on small public library management.

MBLC titles are searchable through the NOBLE catalog.

Requesting Materials

  • NOBLE members: Request directly through the NOBLE catalog.
  • Members of other networks: Request through the Commonwealth Catalog.
  • If you need help: Contact Maura Deedy, or call 1-800-952-7403 (in-state)/617-725-1860, ext. 250.

Our loan period is generally one month. We are happy to extend this loan period unless we have a reserve list for a particular book.

For More Information

Small Libraries in Networks

Paul Kissman, Library Information Systems Specialist
617-725-1860 x238
(in Massachusetts) 800-952-7403 x238

Small Library Construction

Lauren Stara, Library Building Consultant
617-725-1860 x245
(in Massachusetts) 800-952-7403 x245

General Support

Kristi Chadwick, MLS Small Libraries Consultant
866-627-7228 x117