Public libraries are hoping for a significant boost in state aid this year after a long period of spare funding, said Mary Kronholm, a Blandford resident and a member of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.
As budget season approaches, the commissioners are pushing for a 50 percent boost in “line item 9501” — unrestricted state aid to libraries — from $9 million to $13.5 million. They also ask that a “technology and resource sharing” line item be more than doubled, from $2.73 million to $6 million.
State aid to libraries is lower than it’s been in 14 years, according to literature distributed at the event, while the demand for services is higher than ever. At the same time, advocates say, libraries have been forced to cut hours and reduce staff due to budget cuts.
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