Boston Public Library
Finances & Budget

Category Archives: Finances

Posts about the actual financial ins & outs of the library

Library trustees hold special meeting to review final FY13 Budget

Posted on August 7th, 2012 by Sean Nelson in Finances

The Boston Public Library Board of Trustees held a special meeting at the Central Library, Copley Square on Thursday, August 2nd to review the final FY13 operating and capital budget for the BPL. 

Collectively, the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts fund 83% of the BPL’s total operating budget.  The City of Boston’s FY13 appropriation to the BPL is approximately $31.2 million — $1.04 million over FY12 (a 3% increase).  The FY13 State of Massachusetts budget was signed on July 8th by Governor Patrick and included level-funding for those line-items that impact the BPL, including $2.2 million for the Library of the Commonwealth (LFC) and approximately $576,000 in unrestricted State Aid. The total overall all-funds increase to the BPL’s FY13 operating budget is $1.1 million over FY12, for a total all-funds operating budget of $40.82 million. 

Also discussed at the meeting was the BPL’s upcoming five-year capital plan and the full slate of projects that are underway or in the planning process for FY13.  It is anticipated that the BPL will expend between $14 million and $16 million on capital projects systemwide in FY13. Nearly half of those funds will be committed to the new East Boston Branch scheduled to be completed in the Fall of 2013. The balance of the funding will be allocated for branch improvements systemwide, information technology projects, energy initiatives, and key programming and facilities studies.

For more details on both the BPL’s operating and capital budgets, please clink on this link: BPL FY13 Operating and Capital Budgets

FY13 Budget Update: Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Committee

Posted on June 1st, 2012 by Sean Nelson in Finances

The Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Committee finalized their FY13 budget recommendation.  As expected, funding for the Library for the Commonwealth (designated in the line-item language at 35.9 cents per capita) and unrestricted state aid will remain level-funded from FY12 at approximately $2.75M. The Senate’s FY13 budget mirrors the recommendations of both the Governor and the House Ways and Means Committee and is not subject to deliberation in the Conference Committee budget (the Conference Committee only debates appropriation levels if there is a variance between the House and Senate  recommendation).  The final FY13 budget – officially called the “General Appropriations Act” — will be signed by the Governor on or about July 1st.

FY13 Budget Update

Posted on April 25th, 2012 by Sean Nelson in Finances

FY13 Budget Update. Mayor Menino unveiled his recommended FY13 operating budget and five-year capital plan on Wednesday. As anticipated, the Mayor increased the BPL’s operating budget by nearly 3% over FY12 to a total appropriation of $31 million. Included in the FY13 funding is a restoration of the materials budget to the FY11 funding level, an increase in lease-purchase funds for IT equipment, an insurance policy for fine arts and special collections, and a maintenance contract for the self-check machines. The FY13 recommended budget also reflected a reduction in utility consumption for the fourth consecutive year. Additionally, as part of the FY13 budget process, the Mayor challenged city departments to offer new ideas and program innovations to be supported by one-time funding in the operating budget.  As a result, the BPL was successful in securing an additional $130K for several new initiatives, including:

  • Establishment of an e-reader lending program (approximately 250 devices)
  • Early literacy nook at the Charlestown Branch
  • Teen writing lab at the Egleston Square Branch
  • Teen zone renovation at the Hyde Park Branch
  • Outdoor space rejuvenation at the South Boston Branch

The Mayor’s recommended budget next goes to the City Council for discussion with final approval by June 30. The Mayor’s five-year capital plan (FY13 – FY17) also calls for significant new investments for the BPL, including replacing the pay-for-print infrastructure systemwide, the addition of approximately 20 self check-out machines, a systemwide facilities audit, immediate improvements in the Roslindale and Jamaica Plain Branches, and a programming study for the Johnson Building which will include options for a new Children’s Room, Rabb Lecture Hall, and front entrance. The entire City of Boston operating budget and capital plans can be viewed online at www.cityofboston.gov/budget.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives’ Ways & Means Committee also released their FY13 budget recommendation on Wednesday. As expected, the funding for the line items that impact the BPL will be level-funded from FY12 at approximately $2.75 million.This amount includes $2.2 million for the Library for the Commonwealth (LFC) and approximately $560K in unrestricted State Aid. The state’s budget process now moves to the Senate’s Ways & Means Committee for a recommendation to be released in mid-May.

A timeline posted on the “FY13 Budget” tab of the BPL Finance and Budget blog shows important milestones during the BPL budget process. Additional budget information, including planning documents, will be periodically posted to www.bpl.org/budget

BPL Board of Trustees Vote to Approve FY13 Recommended Budget

Posted on March 19th, 2012 by Sean Nelson in Finances

The Boston Public Library Board of Trustees voted on March 13, 2012 to approve submission of the recommended FY13 Operating Budget to the City of Boston. The $40.2 million budget reflects an increase of approximately $500K over the current fiscal year and notably restores the acquistion of materials budget (books, CDs, DVDs) to the FY11 funding level of $4.5 million. The increased budget also reflects a commitment from the City of Boston to support all related personnel increases associated with the 413 full time employees.

While the BPL Board of Trustees has approved this recommended budget, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is still in the early stages of budget development.  The Governor released his FY13 budget recommendation (H2) on January 25th and level-funded those line-items that impact the BPL, including the Library for the Commonwealth (LFC) at $2.75 million. It is anticipated that the House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee will release their FY13 budget recommendation in mid-April; The Senate’s Ways and Means Committee will follow with their recommendation in mid-May.  Variances in the respective House and Senate recommendations will be resolved in a joint conference committee and will result in the FY13 Conference Committee budget to be released in mid to late June.  Upon receipt of the FY13 Conference Committee budget, the  Governor will have 10 days to submit his vetoes.

More information will be posted as the budget process progresses.

FY13 Compass Roundtables: Sustainable Organization

Posted on January 19th, 2012 by Sean Nelson in Finances

Please join me in the first of many roundtable discussions on the Compass Principles, the BPL’s strategic plan. I will be focusing on “Sustainable Organization,” including a presentation of the preliminary FY13 budget revenue and expenditure assumptions as well as the budget planning timeline. A Q&A session will be part of the discussion.

The dates and times for this roundtable are:

  • Wednesday, January 25, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street,
    Boston Room, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
  • Thursday, January 26, Jamaica Plain Branch, 12 Sedgwick Street, 6:30pm – 7:30pm

FY13 Preliminary Revenue and Expenditures

Posted on January 19th, 2012 by Sean Nelson in Finances

At the January 10th meeting of the BPL’s Board of Trustees, preliminary assumptions of BPL’s FY13 Operating Budget — including revenue and expenditures — were reviewed.  Given the uncertain economic climate of recent years, the early outlook is again conservative but stable. One positive development is the City of Boston’s support for additional funding in FY13 for the anticipated increases in personnel.  The result will be a City appropriation that exceeds our funding level from FY12 (a more precise estimate is still TBD pending further review and discussion).  

The FY13 all funds operating budget for the BPL will include some modest assumptions regarding overall expenditures including a restoration of the materials budget to FY11 levels, an increase in lease-purchase funds for IT equipment, and the addition of a maintenance contract for the self-check machines.  The preliminary FY13 budget will also reflect a reduction in utility consumption system-wide.  The BPL’s joint energy conservation efforts with the City of Boston over the course of FY12 will extend this important and beneficial trend well into FY13.

 Though it is still early in the state budget process, our FY13 planning estimate assumes a level-funded appropriation from the state.  The Governor will officially kick-off the process by releasing his recommendation on January 25th.

Additional budget information, including planning documents, will be periodically posted to the BPL’s finance page.

FY12 Adopted Operating Budget for the BPL

Posted on October 21st, 2011 by Sean Nelson in Finances

The total FY2012 operating budget for The Boston Public Library, as adopted by the library’s board of trustees,  is $39.7 million.

BPL Trustees Approve Amended FY12 Budget

Posted on August 5th, 2011 by Sean Nelson in Finances

The Boston Public Library Trustees voted on Tuesday, August 2nd to approve the amended FY12 budget.  The amended FY12 budget reflects the additional funds in the state’s conference budget designated for The Boston Public Library under the newly-named Library for the Commonwealth (formerly the “Library of Last Recourse”).  With the vote, the BPL Trustees reinstated Sunday hours at the Central Library in Copley Square from October 2011 through May 2012.

Sunday hours will be restored to last year’s schedule with the Central Library being open 1-5 p.m. on Sundays, October through May, with exceptions for Sundays preceding Monday holidays.

Mayor Menino submits FY12 Budget to the City Council

Posted on April 14th, 2011 by Sean Nelson in Finances

On Wednesday, April 13, 2011, Mayor Thomas M. Menino presented his $2.4 billion Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2012 and five year $1.7 billion Capital Plan, including $168.7 million in new FY 2012 project authorizations.  The FY 2012 budget includes a $30.14 million appropriation for the Boston Public Library — that is less than a 1% decrease from FY 2011 funding levels.

The $2.4 billion recommended FY 2012 Operating Budget features a modest 2.5-percent growth over last year’s budget, an increase of $58.7 million.  Property taxes continue to be the City’s largest source of revenue, along with hotel, meals and other excise tax revenue.  The City’s second largest source of revenue, state aid from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is expected to decline by more than $37 million from FY 2011 budgeted levels.  Another effect of the recession, state aid has consistently declined over the last 10 years, falling $218 million since 2002. 

One of the biggest expenses for the City of Boston and many municipalities in the Commonwealth continues to be the rapidly rising cost of employee health care.  This year, the City of Boston will spend $315 million, 13-percent of the total budget, on employee health premiums.  The City’s health care expenses have increased 142-percent over the last decade, far outpacing the rate of inflation and revenue growth.

BPL Board of Trustees Vote on Recommended FY12 Budget

Posted on March 24th, 2011 by Sean Nelson in Finances

At their March 23, 2011 meeting, the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees approved a proposed $39.34 million budget for the 2012 fiscal year (FY12). See details on the next tab – FY12 Planning