DATE: July 16, 2010
Dudley Celebrates New Library
Residents of all ages turned out to celebrate the opening of their new library
On July 10, almost 110 years after the original public library was constructed, the Town of Dudley gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the new expanded and improved Pearle L. Crawford Memorial Library.
Community members were welcomed by Library Director Matt Hall and Library Building Committee Chair Anne Marie Safaee and were treated to special speech by Pearle Crawford's son, Mr. Hugh W. Crawford Jr. Commissioner Em Claire Knowles, from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), congratulated the community on the new library, calling it one of the best in the Commonwealth. Chair of the Crawford Library Trustees Patricia Korch offered words of thanks to the Town Council, to the many individuals whose efforts made the project a success, and gave a heart-felt thank you to the residents of Dudley.
MBLC Commissioner Em Claire Knowles and Dudley Library Director Matt Hall
State Senator Richard T. Moore and State Representative Paul Kujawski praised the community for working together to create a space that will serve generations to come. "Here is a building that firmly demonstrates the community's belief in the capacity of its own people...This new library will help future members of the Dudley community understand who you are and what you valued," said Senator Moore. He added words of praise for the MBLC, "I am proud to say that the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners continues the vision of state support for public libraries even in these difficult economic times and has been a partner in the construction of this new library. Dudley received an MBLC Public Library Construction Program grant of $2,402,387.
Hugh Crawford continues the Crawford Family’s support of the library named in memory of his mother, Pearle L. Crawford
The original 1,500 square foot public library was constructed in 1901 to mark the beginning of the 20th century. The Crawford family's contributions to the library date back over 100 years and it was through their efforts, especially those of Pearle L. Crawford who served as a library trustee for 20 years, that the library was renovated and expanded in 1972. Ms Crawford died in 1971 and Town of Dudley voters renamed the library "Pearle L Crawford Memorial Library" in her honor. Today, the Hugh W. Crawford family maintains its connection to the library and was a significant contributor to the success of the new library project.
The newly constructed facility is 16,750 square feet on one level with space for more than 41,000 items, more than double the library's current holdings. The building was constructed to achieve the National Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and has applied for additional grant funding from the MBLC's Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program's Green Incentive.
(left to right) State Representative Paul Kujawski, MBLC Commissioner Em Claire Knowles, State Senator Richard Moore, and MBLC Commissioner Vicki Kaufman
Designed by Johnson Roberts Associates, the library features a large meeting room, a conference room that doubles as a classroom, quiet study rooms, a separate story time and craft area within the children's room, a young adult area for teens, and self check-out stations. The library also boasts 20 new Internet computer stations for kids, teens and adults.
Municipal support combined with a successful capital campaign which raised over $1 million and a major grant of close to $2.5 million from the MBLC's Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program provided the funds for this $7 million project.
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.