2023 Statewide Services and Initiatives

School E-Content

Massachusetts students and school staff borrowed more than 1.6 million eBooks and audiobooks through the school eBook and audiobook program called Commonwealth eBook Collection (CEC) for k-12 school in 2022. The CEC ranks 1st in New England, 2nd in the nation, and 3rd in the world for checkouts.

Dashboard of Usage (link opens in new tab)

Summer Reading

More than 320,000 children, teens, and adults participated in statewide summer reading programs in partnership with the Boston Bruins. With MCAS reading scores (English Language Art-ELA) for grades 3 through 10 in a three-year downward trend*, these programs help close the literacy gap, a critical predictor of academic success.

Many librarians used LSTA & CARES Act funded software programs (link opens in new tab) for remote learning and to register for summer reading programs, track progress, earn badges, write book reviews and stay connected during the summer months as well as year round.

Research Databases

The statewide database program provides critical access to research databases that no community or school system could afford to purchase on its own. On average 60% of database usage comes from schools. Last year, there were over 8 million full text downloads from these databases.

Access databases (link opens in new tab)

Library eBooks and Audiobooks (LEA)

LEA allows Massachusetts library users to access eBooks, audiobooks, and more from 375 participating libraries from across the Commonwealth. This statewide system shares eContent in a similar way to physical materials, opening up access that was previously unavailable for eBooks and audiobooks. LEA circulation has more than doubled since 2019 with residents borrowing more than 1.6 million items from LEA in 2023. The LEA collection has nearly doubled in size, going from 616,816 items in 2019 to 1,192,168 items in 2023. Federal funds support LEA platform grants which offset the fee library networks pay to use OverDrive, the software and app that delivers the eContent for LEA.

Learn more (link opens in new tab) Access LEA (link opens in new tab)

Libraries.state.ma.us for resident access to library services

Capitalizing on the fact that more than 80% of people coming to the site are new users, the MBLC is redesigning the site to feature services that appeal to this population. The new site will answer questions new users typically have about using library services such as how to get a library card and how to access eBooks and audiobooks. Changes to the site make it easier to find in-person local library offerings like citizenship and English Language Learning classes as well as libraries that lend unique items through Libraries of Things.The site will also be available in languages other than English, so people will be able to choose the language with which they are most comfortable. Pageviews have increased 39% since 2021.

Visit the website (link opens in new tab)

The Commonwealth Catalog/ComCat

The Commonwealth Catalog/ComCat gives residents access to millions of items that their own library network doesn’t have. Residents simply request items through ComCat and they’re delivered right to the residents’ local library for pick-up, usually within a few days. This helps local libraries save money because they don’t have to purchase every item a resident needs. More than 103,000 items were circulated via ComCat in 2023.

Visit the website (link opens in new tab)