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

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
$3,323,269 $3,233,374 $3,062,100 $3,114,756 $3,178,539

View allotments for all states


Project Examples

Kids with Boston Bruins READ postersSummer Reading
The Massachusetts Summer Library Program offered reading programs in libraries across the state to help children and teens maintain their reading skills during the summer months and to engage adults and families. The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) coordinated the program with the Massachusetts Library System and provided an online registration, book review, and progress tracker. It also partnered with the Boston Bruins to encourage reading and developed a statewide media plan to promote summer reading. With 294 participating libraries, overall participation in the statewide program increased to 379,391 in summer 2013, a new high for the program. The Boston Bruins participated in a summer reading kickoff event attended by over 200 people and conducted six reading visits to libraries. The team also worked with the MBLC to develop a Bruins Recommended Reads list and READ poster.
IMLS Funds: $120,687

image created by participating teen, Alice SwanSpace to Create: Mobile Teen Technology at the Springfield City Library
Springfield City Library developed a mobile digital media lab for at-risk teens at its Central and Mason Square branches, as well as a range of related programming. The library held two mini camps attended by 31 teens, and it showcased their digital works of art through a Teen Digital Media Festival in partnership with public television station WGBY. The library’s Teen Media Career Fair highlighted career opportunities in technology and media fields, and the library also provided drop-in hours for teens to use the mobile lab. In addition to training staff, the library hired and trained young adult peer mentors to assist teens in their creative projects. The mobile lab now includes a portable music recording studio and enough cameras to facilitate photography and video programs for a dozen teens at a time. The Space to Create project served a total of 172 teens during the project year.
IMLS Funds: $17,000

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, 336KB).