Editor’s Note: The following letter was submitted to the Framingham City Council finance subcommittee. The subcommittee will hear a presentation on the Framingham Public Library budget this morning, May 15. The proposed $3.3 million library budget was submitted to the Council for approval as part of the mayor’s $307 million budget. Council is expected to vote on the budget in June.
FRAMINGHAM – We are writing to urge the finance subcommittee to vote for the recommended library budget to ensure that we meet the Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR) and qualify for funding through the State Aid for Libraries program. The MAR is a figure set by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners that is the minimum appropriation a municipality should provide in funding to its library each year.
Framingham was one of 52 communities that did not meet MAR funding levels in FY 2021.
Failure to meet the MAR again in FY 2022 could mean:
• No more interlibrary loans (64,000 items borrowed from other libraries in 2018 that would have cost over $600,000 if purchased).
• State aid (~$100,000 some years) would be in jeopardy.
• Framingham would be ineligible for federal grants which have funded important projects such as the Citizenship Corner, the Homework Center, and Literacy Unlimited.
• Framingham would be classified as a City that doesn’t support its library.
Meeting the MAR is a critical part of continuing to provide exceptional library services. The recommended budget would ensure that the library meets this essential requirement.
The Trustees respectfully request the support of the Finance Committee for the Library’s FY2022 operating budget.
Ruth Winett, Chair
Art Finstein, Treasurer
Heather Klish, Vice-Chair