News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

DATE: September 25, 2009
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

Changes to Library Construction Proposed

Board seeks public input

 The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) was first funded by a state bond authorization in 1987. Since then 299 grants, totaling over $350 million, have been awarded to 253 cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth. These funds have been used by municipalities to improve public library facilities and services with new library buildings, addition/renovations, special construction projects, and preliminary planning and design activities.

Regulations (Code of Massachusetts Regulations 605 CMR 6.00) governing the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program were last completely reviewed and updated in 2001, with minor revisions in 2004 and 2006. In preparation for a new construction grant round to take place in 2010, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) staff have again reviewed the regulations and are proposing several updates and changes to the Board.

The proposed changes will provide clarification to MPLCP grant recipients on issues such as duration of their contract, valuation of land used for a public library, updated standards, and a Green Building Incentive. Changes also include a decreased requirement for local funding, with an increase in the amount of grant awards for single and joint projects. For complete information regarding the proposed changes please visit the MBLC's website at:

The MBLC has scheduled several opportunities for the public to comment on these changes:

An Information Session will be held on:
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 10:00 AM - Lakeville Free Public Library

Hearings will be held on:

Friday, October 23, 2009 at 10:00 AM - M.G.Parker Memorial Library, Dracut
Tuesday, November 3, 2009 at 1:30 PM - Sunderland Public Library
Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 1:30 PM - Northborough Free Library

Persons planning to give oral testimony at the hearings are urged to provide a written summary in electronic form.  Please submit oral testimony, electronic summaries and post-hearing statements up until 4:00 p.m. on November 9, 2009, by mail, e-mail or fax to the address below:

Robert C. Maier
Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
98 North Washington Street, Suite 401
Boston, MA   02114-1933
1(617)725-1860   1(800)952-7403
FAX  1(617)-725-0140          

For more information about the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program, please see 

For a list of current grant recipients, please see:

About MBLC

The Board of Library Commissioners ( 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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