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Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Resource Guide Collection

State Aid Annual Report: FY2021

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

FY2021 State Aid to Public Libraries

The State Aid to Public Libraries program grants totaled $12 million, an increase of 33% since FY2018. In total, 347 municipalities and their libraries were certified making it the most libraries certified in sixty years.

Tyringham joined the program for the first time since 1961, Millville re-joined the program after losing certification in 2019, and Hancock joined the program last year after not participating since 1975.

Commissioners also approved waivers of the Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR) for 52 communities. This included waivers with reservations for four communities: Stoneham, Kingston, Hanover and Oxford. A waiver with reservation indicates that a significant gap exists between library funding and the funding of other departments. Disproportionate cuts of more than 10% may signal that the library has been targeted for budget reductions.

The Hours Open Requirement was suspended for FY2021 retroactively to July 1, 2020. Libraries that continue to provide library services to their patrons at a level appropriate to their local circumstances such as curbside or limited browsing, will be considered as meeting the full Hours Open Requirement.

In terms of the Materials Expenditure Requirement, the MBLC encouraged all libraries to continue purchasing materials for their print, non-print, and online collections to share with patrons both locally and statewide. However, libraries that are unable to meet the Materials Expenditure Requirement as of June 30, 2021 will be considered as having met the full requirement for FY2021.

The Closure of a Public Library Policy now includes examples of natural catastrophes, i.e.  fire, flood, storms, and epidemics/pandemics and other states of emergencies (Federal, State, and Local). 

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