Tuesday, September 22, 2009

FY2011 Budget and Regional Services

To: Members of Regional Library Systems

Last week at a regular meeting with regional administrators I began a conversation about reductions in the state budget that are being proposed for fiscal year FY2011 (July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011). The Board of Library Commissioners has been given a budget cap by the administration of a 16% reduction compared to this year. Most other state agencies are facing a similar budget-making scenario. This is the result of declining state revenues and the fact that the FY2010 state budget benefits substantially from the use of one-time federal stimulus funds.

Even if a 16% reduction was to be imposed equally on all library programs the impact on regional library systems would be significant. However, given the recent erosion of funding for State Aid to Public Libraries, it is unlikely that that account would be cut further. The reduction in regional and library of last recourse funding may be as great as 28%.

With this information in hand I have asked the regional administrators to work with me and with regional member libraries and regional staff to prioritize regional services for FY2011 and beyond. This planning will include options for the consolidation of regional library systems with the likelihood of 1 or 2 restructured regions going forward and changes in required services including support for regional reference centers.

I fully recognize that changes of this magnitude are challenging. I know that if we work together we can continue to provide the regional services that the libraries and residents of Massachusetts value and rely on every day to improve their lives.

Robert C. Maier, Director,Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
98 North Washington Street, Suite 401,Boston, MA 02114; Ph (617) 725-1860 x249

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