News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

DATE: October 24, 2011
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

MBLC Funds Green Libraries

Library projects in the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program that attain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification are receiving additional funding from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). The Green Library Incentive, created by the MBLC in 2008, encourages the recipients of the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) provisional construction grants to incorporate green or sustainable elements in their building projects.

 The Pearle L. Crawford Memorial Library in Dudley and the Westhampton Public Library are among the first in the state to attain LEED certification and receive additional funding through the Green Library Incentive. LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

With the help of a MBLC Public Library Construction Program grant for $2,402,387, Dudley opened a new 12,700 square foot library in 2010. The library recently announced that the project has been awarded LEED® Silver certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and will receive $120,119 in Green Library Incentive funding from the MBLC.

 LEED certification of Dudley's library was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. Some of these features include:

  • Implementing water efficient landscaping and water use reduction.
  • Installing a storm water management control system.
  • Meeting thermal comfort design requirements for heating, ventilation, air conditioning.
  • Generating on-site renewable energy through solar panels.

 The project also received LEED credit for innovative design for diverting 98% of its on-site generated construction waste from the local landfill. 

 Westhampton Public Library, which opened in 2010 with assistance from a $1,065,074 MBLC Public Library Construction grant, was awarded LEED®  Gold certification  for its 5,300 square foot project that involved the conversion and addition/renovation of an existing building.   It will receive $100,000 in Green Library Incentive funding from the MBLC. Its LEED features include: 

  • Protecting and restoring a previously developed site with native plantings and adaptive species.
  • Maximizing open space.
  • Installing water efficient landscaping and reducing water use.
  • Incorporating natural light and creating naturally ventilated building zones.
  • Using low emitting indoor adhesives and sealant products, paints and coatings, carpet, and composite wood and agrifiber.

The project also received LEED credit for innovative design for its use of building materials or products extracted, harvested and manufactured within 500 miles of Westhampton.

Prior to the Green Library Incentive, North Adams Public Library was the only public library in the Commonwealth to attain LEED certification. It did so in 2007. Mashpee Public Library, which opened in 2010, followed and received $146,727 in Green Library Incentive funding from the MBLC.  Six MPLCP funded libraries currently under construction plan to achieve LEED certification and qualify for Library Green Incentive awards in the future.

Funding for these projects and the construction grants awarded in 2008 and 2011 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.

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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