News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
Web Site: mass.gov/mblc

News Release



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 15, 2004
CONTACT: David L. Gray
Director, Communications & Public Information
1-800-952-7403, x208
David.L.Gray@state.ma.us

Construction Grants Awarded to 21 Massachusetts Libraries

BOSTON: The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is pleased to announce that it has awarded Provisional General Construction Grants totaling $38,249,194 to 21 public libraries across the Commonwealth from the 2000-2001 Grant Round. The Board set May 15, 2005 as the date by which municipalities must accept their awards. Funding for these projects was authorized in August of 2002 in an omnibus bond bill (S2271) that allowed for the expenditure of up to $75 million for public library construction. The Romney Administration has committed funds in its five-year capital plan for these projects.

Applications for General Project awards are evaluated and rated by a panel of independent reviewers. The evaluative criteria include a detailed needs analysis, long-range planning of library services, community involvement, written library building program statement, and critique of the building design in relation to service priorities. To be eligible, applicant libraries must be certified by the MBLC as meeting minimum state standards for public library service, as well as meet the needs of the community for 20 years.

Since the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program was first funded in 1990, a total of $246 million has been awarded to public libraries in 213 cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth. The grants help fund construction of new library buildings, addition/ renovations, special projects and the preliminary planning activities essential to building projects. As of today, 249 grants have been awarded: 51 for planning and design and 198 for construction, addition/renovation or special projects. Funding for a construction/renovation project is based on eligible costs and awarded on a sliding scale. The state share ranges from 35 percent of a larger project to 60 percent of projects under $1.2 million.

The projects are listed in alphabetical order.

Municipality

Library

Award

Amesbury

Amesbury Public Library

$2,494,352

Barnstable

Marstons Mills Public Library

$1,733,557

Boxborough

Sargent Memorial Library

$1,588,634

Braintree

Thayer Public Library

$200,000

Charlton

Charlton Public Library

$2,413,314

Douglas

Simon Fairfield Public Library

$1,778,970

Framingham

Framingham Public Library

$1,654,493

Georgetown

Georgetown Peabody Library

$1,644,694

Great Barrington

Mason Library

$1,407,052

Harvard

Harvard Public Library

$2,492,232

Mattapoisett

Mattapoisett Free Public Library

$1,575,662

Middleton

Flint Public Library

$2,390,053

Montague

Montague Public Libraries/Carnegie Public Library

$1,810,018

Needham

Needham Free Public Library

$3,043,503

New Salem

New Salem Public Library

$286,530

North Brookfield

Haston Free Public Library

$1,257,173

Northampton

Lilly Library

$1,104,000

Northborough

Northborough Free Library

$2,171,949

Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs Public Library

$1,590,646

Revere

Revere Public Library

$2,581,232

Seekonk

Seekonk Public Library

$3,031,130

TOTAL

$38,249,194

Further information about the Construction Grants can be found on the Board's Web site.

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.

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