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Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Resource Guide Collection

State Aid Annual Report: FY2020

Annual summary information for the MBLC State Aid to Public Libraries program

FY2020 State Aid to Public Libraries Summary Reports

Of the 350 Massachusetts municipalities with public library services, 345 applied to the State Aid program for FY2020. Sixteen municipalities applied for a waiver of the MAR. 345 of the municipalities that applied were certified to receive State Aid awards for FY2020. 

Hancock applied to the program for the first time since 1975 and was granted certification.

Funding totaled $9,901,081 for the State Aid to Public Libraries program. Additional funds were added as earmarks for specific libraries bringing the overall total to $10,059,081. One earmark for $25,000 was not for a Massachusetts public library and, therefore, could not be disbursed. The money had to be returned to the Commonwealth.

In March 2020, with COVID19 reaching pandemic proportions around the globe, Governor Baker issued a State of Emergency for Massachusetts and within a week library buildings closed to the public. Many libraries rose to the challenge and continued to offer services and resources virtually to their patrons. In response to the global pandemic, Commissioners voted in an emergency preamble to the FY2021 Hours and Materials Policies. This emergency preamble stated, in part, that municipalities had met the hours and materials requirements for FY2020 (reported in FY2021) as of March 10, 2020 when the Governor's State of Emergency went into effect.


Emergency Preamble Overview

As a result of the Governor’s Emergency Declaration on March 10, 2020, libraries began closing to the public. In addition, most libraries stopped ordering and purchasing materials for their collections and may not be able to meet the annual spending percentages as required in the Minimum Standards of Free Public Library Service by the end of the current fiscal year.

In an effort to support libraries participating in the State Aid to Public Libraries Program as they cope with this emergency, the Board of Library Commissioners approved changes to the State Aid Program Standards Policies at their monthly Board meeting on April 2, 2020.

Rather than address the changes individually in each of the ten policies for both 2020 and 2021, the modifications are reflected and were approved through an Emergency Preamble to the State Aid to Public Libraries Program Policies which has been added to the State Aid Policies section of the website and as a preface to the printed versions of the policy documents going forward.

Commissioners will have an opportunity to again review and adopt policies and changes to policies in September/October at their regular Monthly Board Meetings when State Aid Policies are scheduled for annual review and implementation. If the need arises, the Board can and will take up and vote on policy recommendations at any regular or emergency Board meeting in the interim.

Libraries report their hours open and their materials expenditures each year on their State Aid Application and Compliance form with their State Aid Financial survey each October. The figures they report reflect the hours and materials expenditure for the prior fiscal year. In October 2020 (FY 2021), libraries will be reporting data collected for FY 2020 (July 1, 2019 to June, 2020) for materials expenditures and for a 38 week hours open requirement (usually Labor Day to Memorial Day).

The Emergency Preamble addresses:
Hours Open Requirement
Materials Expenditure Requirement
Accommodation Policies for the Hours Open and Materials Expenditure Requirement
The Closure of a Public Library (Policy)
Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR) Chapter 78, Section 19A
The FY 2021 Five Year Waiver Plan Policy
Disproportionate Cuts

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