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Contact Name: 
Mr. James Lonergan
Contact Title: 
State Library Address: 
Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
98 North Washington Street Suite 401
02114-1933 Boston , MA
+1 617 725 1860
+1 617 725 0140
Contact Email Address: 

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.


“The Commissioners and MBLC staff work to provide everyone in the Commonwealth with equal access to outstanding library services, to promote innovation and collaboration, and to position libraries at the center of civic life in their communities.”

-- James Lonergan, Director, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

Project Examples

Blackstone Public Library's Pathways to Health Success
The Blackstone Public Library's Pathways to Health Success project addressed the high demand among the adult population for accurate medical and health information.  The library offered a series of programs aimed at addressing health/wellness issues. Libraries offered several different types of programs. For example, in weekly one-to-one classes, patrons learned how to search the licensed statewide database for health and wellness information. Large group classroom instruction and fun informative programs were also available.
IMLS Funds: $5,000

Mental Health in High School
This project brought education, awareness and empathy about mental health issues to the Westborough high school community and beyond.  In collaboration with town partners, students in grades 9th and 12th received interdisciplinary instruction and curriculum around mental health topics. The library held programs for students and teachers, added resources to the collection, and highlighted through these programs and instructional opportunities. The whole school focused on promoting awareness and understanding of mental health for all 1,050 WHS students, more than 100 faculty members and administration, and the wider community.
IMLS Funds: $5,000

Concord Public Library Full Steam Ahead
The Concord Free Public Library cooporated with public and private schools to expand hands-on STEAM activities at the Main and Fowler libraries. The library collaborated with town departments, environmental groups, arts organizations, and recreational groups to provide learning spaces and create nature and art experiences for the whole family. The STEAM grant activities supported the schools' science curriculum. For preschoolers, the activities were inspired by the philosophy of Henry David Thoreau. The activities were based on natural and applied sciences: building, growing, cooking, constructing, creating. Other activities included StoryWalks, book bags, story times, and puppet shows. The year-long activities series attracted families to the library and increased program attendance and circulation numbers.
IMLS Funds: $7,500

Review recent Grants to States projects from this state library in the State Program Report database.

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

View the IMLS funding by state report - Massachusetts (PDF) with additional information about all IMLS funding for this state (FY 2018 – FY 2022).

Five-Year Plan Highlights

Goal 1: Promoting Learning.

  • Projects include:
    • Library programs and services encourage early learning initiatives for children and teens
    • The Massachusetts Summer Library Program provides summer reading programs in libraries across the state for children, teens, and adults.
    • Libraries engage with their communities and other organizations to address literacy needs.

Goal 2: Enabling Access.

  • Projects include:
    • MBLC provides access to online magazines, newspapers and encyclopedias for all Massachusetts residents.
    • The Commonwealth eBook Collection. This program gives Massachusetts patrons easy access to a shared collection of eBooks.
    • Statewide resources for technology and connectivity
    • Libraries conduct an accessibility needs assessment of potential services for their users.
    • Improve access to local history collections
    • Digitiize collections

Goal 3: Strengthening Libraries.

  • Projects include:
    • Help libraries develop training and professional development for library staff
    • Support leadership development through professional development, training, mentoring.
    • Provide collections management, preservation, and disaster preparedness training

Goal 4: Building the Workforce.

  • Projects include:
    • Provide grants for libraries to collaborate with local organizations to meet the needs of job seekers.
    • Build capacity to implement STEM programming and services.

Goals 5: Developing Skills.

  • Projects include:
    • Create and offer programs to strengthen pareting skills and engage community and parents in education
    • Grants to libraries on Financial Literacy and health literacy

Goal 6: Connecting Communities.

  • Projects include:
    • Develop a grant program that preserves and celebrates the history of Massachusetts and builds new local relationships.
    • Help libraries serve as hubs for civic engagement
    • Establish community-wide reading programs centered around local or school communities

IMLS Data Collection

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

Public Libraries Survey
The Public Libraries Survey (PLS) provides national descriptive data on the status of public libraries in the United States and its territories. Explore state profiles representing more than 9,000 public library systems and over 17,000 public library outlets.

Content last reviewed on
January 23, 2019