News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: July 14, 2011
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208
celeste.bruno@state.ma.us


Construction Grants Awarded to Eight Public Libraries

MBLC awards close to $27.5 Million in Provisional Construction Grants

At its Board Meeting at Northborough Free Library on Thursday, July 14, 2011, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) voted to award General Construction Provisional Grants totaling $27,448,989 to eight communities. “With library use at an all-time high, these grants will help libraries meet the growing library needs of their residents,” said Katherine Dibble, MBLC Chair.

Libraries in this grant round are the first to benefit from revised Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) regulations, approved by the Board in January 2010, which increase the average grant award from 35% to 50% of the eligible costs. The Green Library Incentive, approved by the Board in September 2008, was also enhanced so that libraries can plan energy efficient systems and construction at the outset of the project. All eight libraries plan to obtain the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification which will qualify them to receive additional state funding.

Twenty-eight libraries completed the grant round process. Through a rigorous review process, eight were identified to receive grants and fifteen were placed on a waiting list. Other libraries were asked to revise their project plans and resubmit their applications to the MBLC by January 19, 2012. Communities that have received grants will have until January 2012 to secure local funding. Wait-listed libraries will receive their grants as funds become available through the state’s five–year capital plan.

Funding for these projects and the construction grants awarded in 2008 was authorized by Governor Deval Patrick and the Legislature in the General Governmental Needs Bond Bill, signed by the Governor on August 11, 2008. On August 14, 2008, the Board awarded provisional grants to libraries that had been on a waiting list since 2005. Libraries in Mattapan, Buckland, Foxborough, Dudley, Holyoke, Mashpee, Walpole, Westhampton, Millis, Boxford, Falmouth and Westwood have moved forward with or completed projects.

MPLCP was first funded by a state bond authorization in 1987.  From July 1989 through June, 2011, 204 construction grants totaling $320.3 million have been awarded to assist cities and towns in construction or renovation and expansion of their public libraries.  In addition, 91 planning and design grants totaling over $1.8 million have been awarded to support public libraries as they prepare to apply for a construction grant.  For more information about the MBLC's Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program please see the 2011 Construction Fact Sheet or click here for general information.

Award details are listed below:

 Award List - July 14, 2011 (listed alphabetically)

Municipality

Library

Award

Athol

Athol Public Library *

$1,335,390

Everett

Shute Memorial Library

$2,236,491

Grafton

Grafton Public Library

$5,080,350

Granby

Granby Free Public Library

$2,603,663

Shutesbury

M.N. Spear Memorial Library

$2,093,084

South Hadley

South Hadley Public Library

$4,841,312

West Springfield

West Springfield Public Library

$6,276,143

West Tisbury

West Tisbury Free Public Library

$2,982,544

 

TOTAL

$27,448,979


Waiting List - July 14, 2011 (in rank order)

Rank

Municipality

Library

Award

1

Athol

Athol Public Library *

$3,236,757

2

Reading

Reading Public Library

$5,105,114

3

Belmont

Belmont Public Library

$7,597,928

4

Edgartown

Edgartown Free Public Library

$5,002,139

5

Salisbury

Salisbury Public Library

$3,856,187

6

Framingham

Framingham Public Library-McAuliffe Branch

$4,186,560

7

Scituate

Scituate Town Library

$4,985,480

8

Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury Free Public Library

$7,959,989

9

Acushnet

Russell Memorial Library

$3,189,536

10

Webster

Chester C. Corbin Public Library

$5,366,489

11

Sandwich

Sandwich Public Library

$6,683,197

12

Woburn

Woburn Public Library

$9,906,275

13

Eastham

Eastham Public Library

$4,331,923

14

Hopkinton

Hopkinton Public Library

$4,533,580

15

Boston

Boston Public Library - East Boston Branch

$7,255,988

TOTAL

$83,197,142

* Partial award:  Athol received a Partial Provisional Award of $1,335,390 and when funds become available for Waiting List libraries in a future fiscal year, the remaining $3,236,757 will be awarded as a priority. The total amount recommended for Athol in this grant round is $4,572,147.

 The following libraries have been asked to work with MBLC Construction Consultants to resubmit their applications: Hatfield, Leicester, Marshfield, Sherborn, Somerville, and Stoughton. In past grant rounds, libraries that revised their applications had a high success rate and were added to the waiting list for future funding.

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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