At its November Board Meeting the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners approved the disbursement of FY2013 State Aid awards, totaling $360,326 to 71 municipalities [more libraries will be certified in the upcoming months] that have met State Aid to Public Libraries Program requirements. The awards are roughly half of the total state aid funding that libraries will receive. Since 2008 the economic climate and concerns over library funding have prompted the Board to make partial awards. Additional payments to libraries are expected toward the end of the grant cycle in the spring.
Funding from the State Aid to Public Library Program goes directly to support public library services. “At a time when my municipal budget is almost entirely spoken for by operational costs and keeping core services afloat, my State Aid award is my only avenue for tackling the goals in our Long Range Plan that push our library forward and help us better serve our residents,” said Amesbury Library Director Patty Ditullo.
Total FY2013 funding to the State Aid to Public Libraries program is $6,823,657 where it has been since FY2010. This is 31% lower than the FY2009 high of $9,989,844 and the MBLC has made increased funding to the State Aid to Public Libraries program a priority in the FY2014 Legislative Agenda.
The reciprocity that comes with library certification in the State Aid program is often what patrons value most. It allows them to use any State Aid certified library in the Commonwealth and gives patrons access to more than 37 million items available through the shared library system. In FY2012 residents borrowed 11.4 million items from libraries outside their own community.
The Board is scheduled to consider the second round of libraries that meet program requirements at is December meeting.
Participation in the State Aid to Public Libraries Program is voluntary.
Read the Complete Announcement
Additional Info and Materials are Available (via MBLC)