DATE: November 08, 2012
Granby Builds New Library
After years of effort to expand and improve the Granby Free Public Library's 1917 Carnegie building, the community recently came together to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new library. “This is a landmark day for this community,“ said State Representative John Scibak. “It’s been a tough economy over the past few years and libraries have never been more important and have proven their worth,“ he added.
The project, which is part of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioner’s (MBLC) Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program, was awarded a state-funded grant totaling $2,603,663 in July, 2011. MBLC Commissioner Jan Resnick congratulated the residents. “Small libraries are more than vital to our communities, they are the hub around which we live our daily lives, “she said. The library is also eligible for additional funding through the MBLC’s Green Library Incentive upon receiving LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The new 12,062 square foot building will be located on land generously donated by a local resident and is convenient to the center of town, the new safety complex and public schools. At nearly five times the size of the original building, the new library will provide much needed space for children’s programming, computers, and a community meeting room. The total project cost is estimated at $4,775,200. Event photos are on the MBLC on Facebook page.
Granby is one of eleven communities that currently have projects underway. Athol, South Hadley, West Springfield, Everett, Millis, Foxborough, Holyoke, Boxford, Millis, East Boston, and Westwood are also moving forward with library projects. On October 4, 2012, with support of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s FY2013-FY2017 capital plan, the MBLC awarded provisional grants to eight more communities. The average grant award for MPLCP projects is 50% of the total eligible costs. There are also fifteen MPLCP approved projects on a waiting list for funding. Construction on the East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library, which is currently on the waiting list, began in April 2011.The MBLC is currently working with local and state officials to secure a new state bond bill to fund library construction in these wait-listed communities and support a new MPLCP grant round.
Funding for the MPLCP was authorized by Governor Deval Patrick and the Legislature in the General Governmental Needs Bond Bill in 2008. 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.
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.