Boston Public Library
Finances & Budget

Category Archives: Finances

Posts about the actual financial ins & outs of the library

FY16 Budget Planning Timeline

Posted on January 23rd, 2015 by Ellen Donaghey in Finances, FY16 Budget

The following draft* budget planning timeline was shared at the January 13 meeting of the library’s Board of Trustees.

  • January: City reports on preliminary information regarding FY16 budget planning
  • January 13: BPL Board of Trustees meeting;  FY15 budget, FY16 potential costs
  • Mid/Late February: Possible special Board of Trustees meeting on budget if needed
  • March 4: Governor releases FY16 budget recommendation, including proposed Library for the Commonwealth funding and State Aid to Public Libraries
  • March 17: BPL Board of Trustees meeting; vote on recommended budget
  • April 8: Mayor’s recommended FY16 budget is submitted to City Council
  • Mid April: Massachusetts House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee releases FY16 budget recommendation
  • May: City Council Ways and Means Budget Hearing
  • Mid May: Massachusetts State Senate Ways & Means Committee releases FY16 budget recommendation
  • May 14: BPL Board of Trustees meeting; update on FY16 recommended budget
  • Mid/Late June: State’s Conference Committee releases FY16 budget
  • July 1: FY16 budget is in effect

*This bulleted list is for discussion purposes only and is subject to change.

At the Janaury 13 meeting of the library’s Board of Trustees, David Sweeney, CFO for the City of Boston, provided an overall assessment of the City’s financial picture. Mr. Sweeney stated that while there is a strong economic outlook, the City needs to proceed cautiously as fixed costs are growing more quickly than revenue. The City must also look to fund new initiatives within the current budget. Mr. Sweeney’s office will work closely with library staff in the development of the FY16 budget. All city agencies must submit FY16 preliminary budget information to the City’s Office of Management and Budget on January 20. The Mayor’s budget will be submitted to the City Council’s Committee on Ways and Means on April 8 as noted above.

FY16 Capital Projects

Posted on January 22nd, 2015 by admin in Finances, FY16 Budget

As reported at the January 13 meeting of the library’s Board of Trustees, current capital project requests include work for the Jamaica Plain, Dudley, and Parker Hill branches as well as continuing support for the Central Library Renovation, energy projects, McKim plaza drainage and waterproofing, and infrastructure projects in FY16 and years following. Security, the Archival Center, Johnson building roof, signage, and technology needs are also included in the capital requests. Next steps for the Roslindale and Faneuil branches, as well as a slate of other branch projects, remain under review for the full five-year capital plan. An increase to the annual critical repair line item, as well as the mechanical systems analysis systemwide, as a complement to the Branch Facilities review, is also in the plans.

FY15 Budget Snapshot

Posted on January 21st, 2015 by Ellen Donaghey in Finances, FY15 Budget

The library’s FY15 budget is currently $41,689,442, and 80% ($33,416,125) of this represents City of Boston funding. The next largest component is state funding, which represents 8% ($3,177,734) of the library’s budget. These funds represent Library for the Commonwealth funds and state aid. Trust funds and other gifts represent 7% of the budget ($2,731,000) and the final portion is enterprise and other funding (Mass Bay Library Network, Pay4Print and other sources), representing 6%, or $2,364,583.





Fiscal Year 15 Budget

Posted on July 2nd, 2014 by Ellen Donaghey in Finances

Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s first City of Boston budget was passed by the City Council on Wednesday, June 25. The City-funded portion of the Boston Public Library budget is $33,416,125 and fully funds year round Sunday hours at the Central Library in Copley Square, year round Saturday hours at the branches, and collective bargaining increases. The budget took effect on July 1, 2014.

The State Legislature passed its Conference Budget Recommendation on Monday, June 30. For the second year in a row, Library for the Commonwealth ( funding increased by $150,000, resulting in a recommended FY15 budget of $2,501,883. In Fiscal Year 2014, BPL received $485,000 in state aid. This was out of a total state aid budget of $6,823,657. In the FY15, the recommended budget for state aid is $9m. The budget has now been sent to Governor Deval Patrick for review. The Governor has 10 days to sign the budget or to veto portions of the budget and return it to the Legislature.

FY15 Budget Update

Posted on April 14th, 2014 by Ellen Donaghey in Finances, FY15 Budget

Mayor Walsh presented the first City of Boston budget of his administration on April 9 to Boston City Council. The submission included a $2.7 billion operating budget for Fiscal Year 2015 and a five-year, $1.9 billion capital plan. The BPL has a recommended operating budget of $33,416,125, in FY15, an increase over current FY14 authorized spending of $543,191.

The City’s capital plan funds a number of library projects, including the Jamaica Plain Branch remodeling, expansion and service improvement: $875,0000 in FY15, $8,916,500 in future years; and the Central Library renovation/Johnson Building Phase 2: $34,000,000 for FY15, $30,142,932 in future years. Coupled with earlier spending, the total Johnson Renovation budget allocation is $75,500,000.

The Mayor’s recommended operating budget and capital budget is now under review and discussion by the Boston City Council, with final approval anticipated prior to July 1. Visit for additional details. Also in process is the state’s FY15 budget. Boston Public Library receives state funding in addition to city funding. Stay up-to-date with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts FY15 budget process via this link.

The Mayor’s budget recommendation coupled with some available FY14 funding allows the Library to offer year-round Sunday hours at the Central Library and year-round Saturday hours in the branches. The Central Library in Copley Square will offer year-round Sunday hours of 1 – 5 p.m. in addition to its year-round Saturday hours of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. In previous years, Sunday hours in Copley Square ended in May and returned in October.

All twenty-four neighborhood branches in the Boston Public Library system will have year-round Saturday hours as well. Saturday hours at Boston Public Library branches vary per location, but are typically 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., or 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. In previous years, Saturday hours at Boston Public Library branches ended in June and returned in September.

FY15 Budget Information

Posted on February 19th, 2014 by Ellen Donaghey in Finances, FY15 Budget

At the January 14, 2014 Trustee Meeting, City of Boston Chief Financial Officer Meredith Weenick reviewed preliminary FY15 revenue assumptions and operating costs. CFO Weenick reported that it is unlikely that revenue will keep pace with the increases in fixed costs so departments will be asked to look for savings during budget development.

The Mayor’s budget will be submitted to the City Council on April 9th.

On January 24th, Governor Deval Patrick released his FY15 Budget recommendation. Under the Governor’s Budget recommendation, the Boston Public Library would anticipate a budget increase of approximately $69,000.

The next step in the state budget process will be in late March/early April when the House Committee on Ways and Means announces its FY15 recommendation.

FY14 Budget Update

Posted on June 21st, 2013 by admin in Finances

Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s FY14 budget recommendations are before Boston City Council for review and discussion, with final approval anticipated prior to June 30. The Mayor’s recommended budget, announced on April 8, proposes increasing the BPL’s operating budget by just under 3%, to a total appropriation of $32.062 million in City of Boston funding. Full details on Mayor Menino’s FY14 Recommended Budget can be found at

Also in process is the state’s FY14 budget. In FY13, the library received $2.8 million in state aid, representing funding for the Library for the Commonwealth ($2.2 million), Interlibrary Loan funding ($100,000), and $503,000 in unrestricted state aid, slightly more than 6% of BPL’s overall budget. For FY14, the House recommendation includes language stating that the Library of the Commonwealth will receive not less than 35.9 cents for each resident of the Commonwealth; the Senate recommendation recommends 38.3 cents per resident of the Commonwealth. The Speaker of the House and the Senate President appointed Budget Committee Conference members on May 30. Stay up-to-date with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts FY14 budget process by clicking here.

BPL Board of Trustees Vote to Approve FY14 Recommended Budget

Posted on March 15th, 2013 by Gina Perille in Finances

The Boston Public Library Board of Trustees voted on March 12, 2013, to approve submission of the recommended FY14 Operating Budget to the City of Boston. The $40.9 million budget maintains the acquisition of materials budget (books, CDs, DVDs) at the $4.5 million level. The budget also reflects more than $500,000 in energy and information technology savings and a commitment from the City of Boston to support approximately $535,000 in mandated personnel increases associated with full-time employees. The City of Boston supports 78% of Boston Public Library’s recommended FY14 Operating Budget.

More information will be posted as the City of Boston and Commonwealth of Massachusetts budget processes progress.

Governor Patrick Releases FY14 Budget Recommendation

Posted on January 24th, 2013 by Sean Nelson in Finances

Governor Deval Patrick released his FY14 budget recommendation yesterday. The proposed $34.8 billion state budget increases funds for transportation and education, aid to cities and towns, and maintains level funding for libraries. Under the Governor’s recommendation, the BPL would receive approximately $2.2M in funds for Library for the Commonwealth (LFC) and approximately $535K in State Aid. This is the same funding level from the state since fiscal year 2011.

The state’s budget process now moves to the House Ways and Means Committee for their recommendation to be released in late March/early April. Stay in step with the full budget process by clicking here:

BPL Awards Contract for Market Feasibility Study

Posted on December 24th, 2012 by Sean Nelson in Finances

After an extensive RFP review process, the contract for the market feasibility of commercial and conference space in the Johnson building was awarded by the BPL board of trustees to the firm of Byrne McKinney and Associates from Boston. The initial phase of the study will focus on the measuring of demand for various types of uses and possible configurations of the space. They will also develop financial models and forecast revenue, conduct surveys, and work closely with the project and design team. It is anticipated that the majority of research will be completed by the end of February.