Resource Sharing

No library can stand on its own. The MBLC offers statewide services to supplement library collections and coordinates resource sharing infrastructure at the state level.

Database Licensing

Every Massachusetts resident has immediate access to a vast array of general and scholarly periodical articles, encyclopedias, reference materials, as well as the full text of The Boston Globe. The MBLC, in partnership with the Massachusetts Library System, licenses these products for residents and users of MLS libraries.  Services are funded in part with funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Library Users: Visit the Massachusetts Libraries portal to gain access.

Libraries: Set up links for your users or get support from MLS.

Commonweath Catalog

The Commonwealth Catalog is the statewide catalog of catalogs.  Designed primarily books, DVDs, and other returnable materials, ComCat allows users to locate items that they can't get locally —and that their home network doesn't own— and to have it delivered to their home library.


Though the Commonwealth eBooks Collection project has concluded, the MBLC and the Massachusetts Library System (MLS), in conjunction with our Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing Networks, continue to support increased access to eBook and eAudiobook titles for all Massachusetts library patrons.  A new initiative will see the implementation of reciprocal lending between networks using the Overdrive platform.  The pilot phase of this project was successfully concluded during the winter of 2017/18 and is now expanding.

Digital Commonwealth

Digital Commonwealth is a cooperative group of Massachusetts libraries and cultural heritage institutions that coordinates and promotes the digitization of assets in archives, history rooms, and manuscript collections.  Digital Commonwealth houses digitized files, helps create metadata for improved discovery and provides a shared platform for residents and researchers to find and retrieve those assets.

Support from Library Technology and Resource Sharing (Account 7000-9506)

Resource sharing is at the heart of the MBLC's mission.  

Reciprocal borrowing is embedded in the State Aid to Public Libraries program and provides the groundwork resource sharing.

The MBLC guided the creation of the automated resource sharing networks beginning in the early 1980s and continues to support healthy networks through state grants.