General Laws

Section 19E. The board of library commissioners, hereinafter called the board, shall, subject to appropriation, establish a comprehensive statewide program for the improvement and development of library services for all citizens. Such funds as may be appropriated shall be distributed by the board for the following purposes:

(1) for the establishment of the Boston public library as a statewide reference and referral center for Massachusetts libraries;

(2) for the establishment and development of cooperation and coordination among libraries, including the authority to:

(a) provide coordination and administration of cooperative statewide programs of services and statewide coordination of regional programs;

(b) provide for identification, maintenance, development and preservation of critical research collections;

(c) provide statewide access to specialized information resources, research collections and specialized reference and information services;

(d) participate in interstate library services if such participation will increase the availability of library services;

(e) provide statewide delivery services;

(f) provide statewide interlibrary loan services;

(g) provide education, training and technical advisory services; and

(h) provide funding for grants for projects that demonstrate innovative uses of technology, interlibrary cooperation or shared services delivery to improve information delivery to library users.

For the establishment and development of library media centers in county and state institutions.

In making grants under this clause the board shall establish minimum standards for such library service which take into account:

(a) the type of institution;

(b) the size of the resident population;

(c) the availability of library media services to the institutional population;

(d) the qualifications of personnel for staffing of a library media center;

(e) the institution’s commitment to annual budgetary support for library media services.

For the establishment and development of services from library media centers of all types to the handicapped and disadvantaged including:

(a) the establishment and development of library media services and centers for persons whose native language is not English. The board shall establish standards for such services and centers;

(b) the development of library media services for the elderly, the unemployed, the poor, the functionally illiterate, and those persons who have cultural, social, or educational disadvantages that prevent them from using library media centers and services designed for persons without said disadvantages;

(c) the establishment and development of library media services for persons who are visually impaired, mentally, physically, or emotionally handicapped.

To aid public library planning, reconstruction and construction. The board shall adopt standards consistent with the provisions of sections nineteen G to nineteen K, inclusive, in allocating funds for these purposes.

To conduct, contract for, fund or publish studies relative to needs and services of library media centers of the commonwealth. The funding of such studies shall be for the purpose of advising the board in carrying out the provisions of this section. Such studies may include the testing and evaluation of findings by the board.