News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: October 04, 2012
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208
celeste.bruno@state.ma.us


Patrick-Murray Administration awards $41.8 Million in Construction Grants through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

BOSTON – October 4, 2012 – The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners today announced that they have awarded eight communities General Construction Provisional Grants awards. Governor Patrick increased funding for the Public Library Construction Program in the administration’s FY13-FY17 Capital Plan to allow for these eight additional grants, which will assist with the cost of construction over the course of the next few years.

“Public libraries are a valuable resource for cities, towns and residents across the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “These grants, and others before it, will assist municipalities with construction of top-notch, environmentally-conscious facilities that will serve residents for many years to come.”

The grants, which provide crucial funding to local libraries for repairs and updates, are part of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s commitment to providing valuable resources to the Commonwealth’s cities and towns.

“We’re fortunate that the Patrick-Murray Administration and the Legislature understand the importance of libraries” said MBLC Chair Frank Murphy. “The success of this program and our ability to award grants that have such a significant local community impact come from working collaboratively with Governor Patrick’s office and local community leaders,” he added.

The average grant award is 50% of the eligible costs with the remaining cost incurred by the town.

Communities receiving grants are as follows:

Municipality Library Award
Reading Reading Public Library $5,105,114
Belmont Belmont Public Library $7,597,928
Edgartown Edgartown Free Public Library $5,002,139
Salisbury Salisbury Public Library $3,856,187
Framingham Framingham Public Library, McAuliffe Branch $4,186,560
Scituate Scituate Town Library $4,985,480
Shrewsbury Shrewsbury Public Library $7,959,989
Acushnet Russell Memorial Library $3,189,536

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 through the Green Library Incentive. The Green Library Incentive was created by the Board of Library Commissioners in 2008 so that libraries can plan energy efficient systems and construction at the outset of the project. For these grant recipients Green Library Incentives totaling $837,659 to $1,465,903 will be available depending on the level of LEED certification.

Many public libraries, some built over 100 years ago, struggle to meet the growing demand for library services and lack handicap accessiblity. The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) assists local communities with building new or renovating and expanding existing libraries.

“Advances in technology have only increased the demand and need for library services,” said MBLC Commissioner and Building Committee Liaison Greg Shesko. “Residents are using their libraries for access to technology and also as community spaces where programs and other activities help them learn new skills and get to know their neighbors. These grants will help libraries meet residents’ needs now and into the future.”

During the next nine months grant recipients will work with their community to gain the local match funding necessary to move forward with the grant. “Local support is really key to the success of a project because it ensures that each project meets the unique needs of its residents,” said Rosemary Waltos, MBLC Construction Specialist.

Funding for the MPLCP was authorized by Governor Deval Patrick and the Legislature in the General Governmental Needs Bond Bill in 2008. This is the second round of grants awarded since July 2011 when libraries in Athol, Everett, Grafton, Granby, Shutesbury, South Hadley, West Springfield and West Tisbury received provisional grant awards and the initial waiting list was created. In May 2012, the Board approved the addition of projects in Somerville, Stoughton, Hatfield, Sherborn and Leicester to the existing waiting list. Athol, Everett, Granby, South Hadley, West Springfield and West Tisbury have projects underway. Construction on the East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library, which is currently on the waiting list, began in April 2011.

The Governmental Needs Bond Bill also funded the 2008 grant round in which the communities of Mattapan (the Mattapan Branch of the Boston Public Library), Buckland, Foxborough, Dudley, Holyoke, Mashpee, Walpole, Westhampton, Millis, Boxford, Falmouth and Westwood completed or are nearing completion of library projects.

The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program was first funded in 1987. Since then the program has assisted nearly two hundred communities in building new libraries or in renovating and expanding existing libraries. For more information please visit the MBLC’s website http://mblc.state.ma.us/

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 10/5/2012