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MassGIS Data: Libraries

August 2017

This dataset contains points which represent locations of all public and some special libraries currently registered with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC).

Table of Contents



MassGIS created the layer from a list received in July 2017 from the MBLC of libraries that are members of the Massachusetts Library System (MLS). The list was cross-referenced to points in our Master Address Database to create this geospatial layer. This layer also includes a small subset of "special" libraries as categorized by the MBLC whose main function is to operate as a library. Many schools, hospitals, trial courts, law offices, historical societies, museums, private companies and other public and private institutions house libraries in addition to their primary operations. They are not included in this data layer. MassGIS has separate layers for some of these types of facilities. Search the MBLC Library Directory for more.

The layer is named LIBRARIES_PT.


MassGIS extracted from its master address database all points that were identified as libraries in building names. Using ArcGIS these were compared to the previous (2005) version of the Libraries point layer as well as to the latest database list from the MBLC. MassGIS checked library websites where there were discrepancies in names and addresses among the different sources. With the 2017 update, MassGIS dropped most special and all academic libraries that were included in the previous version because their MLS membership status changes frequently or may not be updated in the MLS in a timely manner by the library director or designee.


Each library point has the following fields:

NAME The formal name of the library
ADDRESS The address of the library
TOWN The incorporated city or town in which the library is located
STATE All coded “MA”
ZIP 5-digit postal ZIP Code
ADDRESS_POINT_ID Identifier from MassGIS' Master Address Database, when matched to a MAD point.
LIBKEY Identifier from the MBLC. It is unique for all libraries except public library branches, which use the LIBKEY of the parent municipal library.
TYPE Type of library as categorized by the MBLC. Includes:
PUBLIC - A public library, administered by the local government.
PUBLIC BRANCH - A public library branch location; this value was calculated by MassGIS based on information provided by the MBLC.
SPECIAL - Libraries not administered by municipalities. Those included in this layer comprise a small number designated as such by the MBLC as described above.
NETWORK Library network. For public libraries in Massachusetts, eight networks provide the library catalog, the ability to borrow from neighboring libraries, circulation, patron registration, public Internet access and other critical services.
REGION Library region
DELIVROUTE Library delivery route
WEBSITE Library website


MassGIS will refresh this layer periodically with updates provided by the MBLC.

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