Regional Consolidation and the Massachusetts Library System

In September 2009, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners received a mandate to reduce projected FY2011 funding to mid 1990s levels at a time when demand for library services is at an all time high. In October 2009, the Board held several budget sessions to gather input from the public and the library community. In addition, the Board received several hundred emails from individuals who expressed concern about maintaining library services in the wake of drastic funding reductions.

To examine how to continue to deliver core library services to the entire Commonwealth, the Regional Transition Planning Committee was formed. Library professionals from across the state and from all types of libraries (academic, school, special, and public), from regional library systems, and from the MBLC participated on the committee. The committee developed a report and recommendations which were discussed at the April 1, 2010 Board Meeting. On April 13, 2010 the Board held a special meeting and after several more hours of discussion, it unanimously voted to designate the Massachusetts Library System as the administrative entity to provide regional services to libraries and residents beginning July 1, 2010.

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