State Programs > State Profiles

State Librarian

Ms. Dianne Carty
Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
98 North Washington Street, Suite 401
Boston, MA 02114-1933
Phone: 617/725-1860 x 222
Fax: 617/725-0140

State library website:

photo of Massachusetts State Librarian“Significant immigrant populations make fulfilling the needs of newcomers essential at our libraries. Our residents want 24/7 access to information, a demand that must be met by robust e-content that can be accessed on mobile devices. Community advisory boards will continue to keep projects focused on local needs.”

--Dianne Carty, Director, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners


The Grants to States Program

The Grants to States Program is the largest grant program run by IMLS; it provides funds to State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAAs) using a population-based formula set by the law. SLAAs determine goals and objectives for the funds in their statutorily required five-year plan (see below). For more information, see the Grants to States program overview.


Recent Allotments

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
$3,621,427 $3,323,269 $3,233,374 $3,062,100 $3,114,756

View allotments for all states


Project Examples

How Green Is My Library
Through a library research project, Fenway High School’s 10th and 11th grade chemistry students connected the relevance of chemistry with their everyday lives and demonstrated an understanding of the impact of urban environment on health. Students had access to statewide licensed databases and received training in information literacy skills when they visited the library. Their research centered on an environmental awareness project, in which students found reliable information on what is known or suspected, but not proven, about the connection between environmental pollution and disease clusters. The librarian and teachers accompanied students on field trips to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center Aquarium, where they met with researchers and learned about internships at Woods Hole. Students also cleaned up a designated victory garden in the Boston Fens and, based on their research, selected plants that were most likely to thrive there.
IMLS Funds: $5,000

Libraries for Job Seekers
Using grant funds, the Bellingham Public Library established a program for job seekers that gave them the basic tools needed to find employment. The project included workshops in resume and cover letter writing, job searching, mock interviews, and stress management, introductory computer classes, a one-on-one career fair, and a jobs fair. Library staff also received training to better assist job seekers, and the library updated its job seeking collection of library materials and added a Job Seekers tab to its website. The program helped 250 job seekers and partnered with many local businesses that offered their assistance in workshops and networking meetings. Based on surveys following workshop participation, 95 percent of respondents felt more comfortable using a computer in their job search; 98 percent gained skills in resume and cover letter writing; and 95 percent gained interview skills. Of the 140 Jobs Fair attendees, 53 received offers of employment and 16 were accepted.
IMLS Funds: $7,000

Other project(s) featured through IMLS media include:

Search the Awarded Grants Database for additional details about awards in this state.


Five-Year Plan

Each state creates a 5-year plan for its programs to strengthen the efficiency, reach, and effectiveness of library services. Click here to read Massachusetts's 5-year plan for 2013-2017 (PDF, 248KB). View all states' plans.


Five-Year Plan Highlights

Lifelong Learning


  • Support literacy programs for people with functional reading, writing, and computation challenges.
  • Implement informally structured Conversation Circles for English language learners.
  • Support summer reading programs for youth, parents, and other caregivers.
  • Support family literacy programs to engender confidence in parents and other caregivers in their ability to read and engage in other activities to build pre- and early literacy skills in their young children.
  • Encourage public libraries to apply for subgrants to advance emergent literacy and literacy skills for children (0-teens) through programs, resources, and training.
  • Encourage public libraries to apply for subgrants that support the development of reading skills in children and young adults through innovative programs and appealing additions to the collection.


  • Encourage school libraries to apply for subgrants to advance emergent literacy and literacy skills for children (0-teens) through programs, resources, and training.
  • Encourage school libraries to apply for subgrants that support the development of reading skills in children and young adults through innovative programs and appealing additions to the collection.
  • Support and promote engaging programs for students in grades 4-8 that focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—the so-called STEM disciplines.

Information Access

Access to E-Resources

  • Provide statewide databases of general interest periodicals and journals, the Boston Globe and New York Times newspapers, and a general encyclopedia.
  • Support resource sharing and the utilization of electronic information technology, and provide easy access to these resources:
    • Expand the Small Libraries in Networks program.
    • Offer pilot projects to support recommendations of the Statewide Resource Sharing Committee.
    • Upgrade network systems and MassLNC Project, our open source integrated library system (ILS).
    • Create a consumer portal.
    • Update the statewide virtual catalog and expand membership to include MassCat and unaffiliated academic library systems.


  • Ensure access to the literary treasures of Massachusetts by preserving source materials in their original format and reformatting or copying materials that are at risk of loss.
  • Support the digitization of historical and other significant resource materials.

Economic and Employment Development

Job Seekers

  • Encourage libraries to apply for the Libraries for Job Seekers grant.
  • Encourage libraries to offer the Next Chapter Program, a national community coalition that works to help people in the second half of life set a course, connect with peers, and find pathways to meaningful work and significant service.

Institutional Capacity

Continuing Education

  • Provide ongoing training and support for library staff, trustees, and friends of public libraries groups. This initiative includes training led by the Library Leadership Massachusetts Institute.
  • Provide libraries with information and programs that will help in self-assessing the services they offer.
  • Offer staff training for disaster preparedness and assist libraries in need of help after a disaster.

Marketing and Market Research

  • Encourage academic and school libraries to apply for an Academic or School Library Incentive grant to jump-start the development of a long-range plan or to implement a significant program component of an approved long-range plan that will directly benefit a targeted audience.


  • Identify and establish partnerships with community agencies and organizations that work to support outreach to adult new readers and people with limited English language skills.
  • Develop partnerships with state agencies, non-profits and other interested institutions to assist in meeting the learning goals of Massachusetts residents.


  • Improve and support the technological infrastructure needed to link multi-type libraries and networks across the Commonwealth:
    • Expand broadband capacity throughout the Commonwealth.
    • Encourage library users to register, either in-person or online, for a statewide library card.

Civic Engagement


  • Support and encourage libraries to serve as community conveners and anchors.
  • Provide programs that help immigrants become U.S. citizens.

Human Services

Special Services for Special Needs

  • Provide appropriate materials and services, along with assistive technology, for those who are blind or have low vision and for those who are physically disabled.


Five-Year Evaluation

At the end of a 5-year period, each state reports their results in achieving goals and objectives projected in their 5-Year Plan. Click here to read Massachusetts's 5-year evaluation for 2008-2012 (PDF, 1,112KB). View all states' evaluations.


IMLS Data Collection

State Library Survey
The State Library Agency Survey (SLAA) provides descriptive data about state library agencies for all fifty states and the District of Columbia.

Public Library Survey
The Public Library Survey (PLS) provides national descriptive data on the status of public libraries in the United States and its territories. Data are collected from over 9,000 public library systems with over 17,000 public library outlets. Click here for Massachusetts's profile from the most recent PLS publication (PDF, 372KB).