News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: January 10, 2008
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208
celeste.bruno@state.ma.us


Governor Files Bond Bill

On January 4, 2008 Governor Deval Patrick filed H4455 a $2.5 billion bond bill to implement the Administration’s Capital Investment Plan. Included in the five-year bill is significant authorization to assist communities with local infrastructure needs, including $100 million to fund library construction or renovation for the 31 municipalities on the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioner’s Waiting List as of November 3, 2006 .

“We’re dealing with an aging infrastructure of libraries across the state. Nearly half are at least 100 years old and little or nothing has been done to them since they were built,” stated Patience Jackson, MBLC Library Building Consultant.  The list includes libraries from across the Commonwealth from Westhampton and Buckland in the Berkshires, to Holyoke, Gloucester and Mattapan.

“I believe that the construction of these new and modern facilities places the Commonwealth at the forefront of library construction in our nation. Most of these buildings are simply too small to meet the needs of their community in the 21st century, some are not fully accessible to disabled users, many do not have appropriate children’s or youth services areas, and others lack the electrical power and information architecture required to deliver services in our digital age,” stated MBLC Commissioner George T. Comeau who serves as the Construction Liaison to the Board.

Communities that receive construction grants and complete the process are pleased with their new or renovated space. As Chair of Georgetown Peabody Library Trustees, Laura Zalweski stated at the opening of the addition/renovation in November 2007, “Our new library is our community’s living room with something for everyone. We finally have the library our community deserves.” Georgetown is just one of 239 towns to be awarded over $282 million from the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program since it began in 1990.

Our Common Wealth: Building a Future for Our Children and Youth, a recent report by the Massachusetts Special Commission on After School and Out of School Time, called libraries a critical partner in shaping the lives of our young people and recognized the extensive programs that libraries offer. “Adults also turn to libraries, whether it be learning how to use a computer or learning how to read; but aging buildings combined with the continuing increase in demand for library services presents us with a challenge,” stated MBLC Director Robert C. Maier. “The Governor has demonstrated that he understands the essential role libraries serve in the lives of residents and the value that libraries bring to our communities,” he added.

The municipalities on the MBLC Waiting List have been waiting for state grant funds for up to 3 years.

Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program
Waiting List January 18, 2008

Rank Municipality Library Award

1

Auburn

Auburn Public Library

$4,188,822

2

Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury Free Public Library

$3,964,293

3

Falmouth

Falmouth Public Library

$3,071,749

4

Westhampton

Westhampton Memorial Library

$1,065,074

5

Millis

Millis Public Library

$2,789,569

6

Norwell

Norwell Public Library

$3,098,877

7

Belchertown

Clapp Memorial Library

$3,347,565

8

Belmont

Belmont Memorial Library

$5,323,564

9

Holyoke

Holyoke Public Library

$4,367,594

10

Buckland

Buckland Public Library

$529,598

11

Upton

Upton Town Library

$2,755,392

12

Boxford

Boxford Town Library

$2,784,242

13

Holbrook

Holbrook Public Library

$1,965,616

14

Bourne

Jonathan Bourne Public Library

$2,852,702

15

Gloucester

Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library

$4,549,808

16

Edgartown

Edgartown Free Public Library

$4,593,557

17

Westwood

Westwood Public Library

$3,698,929

18

Woburn

Woburn Public Library

$4,775,727

19

Dartmouth**

Dartmouth Public Libraries (Branch)

$2,732,307

20

Everett**

Shute Memorial Library (Branch)

$1,578,115

21

Dighton

Dighton Public Library

$2,341,560

22

Hull

Hull Public Library

$2,809,680

23

Ware

Young Men's Library Association

$2,868,458

24

Walpole

Walpole Public Library

$3,896,184

25

Winchendon

Beals Memorial Library

$3,310,544

26

North Attleborough

Richards Memorial Library

$4,866,363

27

Granby

Granby Free Public Library

$988,483

28

Foxborough

Boyden Library

$3,461,606

29

Boston--Mattapan**

Boston Public Library-Mattapan (Branch)

$5,222,907

Inflation factor of 15% for partial award to Dudley

$87,813

Inflation factor of 15%% for award to Mashpee

$382,766

Total

$94,269,464

Numbers 1-20 placed on Waiting List by Board of Library Commissioners' vote, July 7, 2005; Numbers 21-29 by a Board vote on April 6, 2006.

**Branch libraries have lower priority within rounds.

Further information about the Construction Grants can be found at http://mblc.state.ma.us/grants/construction/.

About MBLC

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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Page last updated on 04/8/2008