June 21, 2001
Director, Communications & Public Information
Commissioners Announce Availability of Planning & Design Grants
BOSTON - The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners authorized the beginning of a new Planning and Design grant round in the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program on June 7, 2001.
The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program, administered by the Board of Library Commissioners and first funded by the Legislature in 1989, has already helped 45 communities with these grants that assist library building programs with their architectural feasibility studies, schematic design, cost estimates, soil studies and site investigation.
Workshops to assist applicants will be offered in October with grant applications due in December. The Board will make its awards in the spring of 2002.
Keith Michael Fiels, director of the Board of Library Commissioners, commented, "We are delighted to be able to conduct this new application round, the third since April 1999. Each project we are able to fund represents a dramatic step forward in the services that a local library will be able to provide to its community."
Chairman of the Board Edward Bertorelli remarked, "The last ten years have been an outstanding decade for public libraries in Massachusetts. The Board of Library Commissioners has given a total of 45 planning and design awards and 157 construction and reimbursement awards since 1989. The Board recognizes the full support of the Weld/Cellucci and Cellucci/Swift Administrations as well as the support of the Senate and House in making this the "new Golden Age" in library construction in Massachusetts. We still have significant challenges before us, but it is encouraging that the administration and the Legislature, working together with the Board of Library Commissioners, have accomplished so much for the citizens of the Commonwealth."
The Board of Library Commissioners (mass.gov/mblc) is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.