Boston Public Library
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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

Next Budget Roundtable Discussions on March 15th and 16th

Posted on March 9th, 2011 by Sean Nelson in Finances

The next installment of the BPL Budget Roundtable discussions will be held on Tuesday, March 15th at 6:30pm in the Copley Central Library Orientation Room (McKim Building) and on Wednesday, March 16th at 6:30pm at the Codman Square Branch Library (690 Washington Street). 

The topics for discussion will include: an intro to the BPL’s Enterprise revenue, a review of FY12 revenue assumptions to date (including Trust Funds), and a review of the budget documents discussed at the February 24th and March 8th BPL Board of Trustees meetings.  All attendees will be given additional packets of information and will be encouraged to participate in the Q&A period.  This will be the last of the roundtable discussions before the Mayor submits the FY12 budget to the City Council.

Additional Budget Information Links

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

Additional budget information links:

Local, state, and federal government sources

Commonwealth of Massachusetts:

City of Boston:

White House Office of Management and Budget:

Congressional Budget Office:


Independent, non-government sources of budget information

Boston Municipal Research Bureau:

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center:

Massachusetts Municipal Association:

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (National):