DATE: December 17, 2012
West Tisbury's "Heart" Grows
On December 12, 2012 the residents of the island community of West Tisbury gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of their library project which will renovate the existing library and add much needed additional space. “This library is the heart of our community,” said Board of Selectmen Chair Cynthia Mitchell. “As the community grows so must its heart.”
West Tisbury Library Director Beth Kramer has been at the center of this successful project. “Beth’s enthusiasm contagious,” State Representative Timothy Madden said; but Ms. Kramer is quick to mention the many individuals who have rallied around the project. “We’re fortunate to have a community that understands the value of this library and who are willing to put in the effort to move this project forward even in a difficult economy,” she said. The State Representative agreed and pointed to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners’ (MBLC) Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program application process as helping to shape the project, “It’s a competitive process that required Beth, the staff, and our building committee to work with the community to create the best possible application.”
West Tisbury was one of eight communities to receive a provisional grant award from the MBLC on July 14, 2011. Twenty eight communities completed the 2010-2011 grant round process. West Tisbury’s $3 million grant was part of the first round of awards. The West Tisbury Library Foundation, headed up by Hunter Moorman, was able to raise $1.7 million in local match funding. At the April 2012 Town Meeting, West Tisbury voters overwhelming approved the rest of the funds necessary for this $6,055,308 project.
The MBLC recently awarded provisional grants to eight more communities and eleven libraries are currently on a waiting list for funding. MBLC Commissioner Katherine Dibble joined West Tisbury in celebrating the groundbreaking. “Our library construction program recently has its own celebration marking 25 years of building libraries. In that time we have helped hundreds of communities build libraries that will serve residents well into the future, “she said. “I am so pleased to welcome West Tisbury into this circle of success.”
Libraries in the 2010-2011 grant round are the first to benefit from revised Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program regulations, approved by the Board in January 2010, which increased 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. West Tisbury plans to obtain the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification which will qualify it to receive a Green Library Incentive of up to $104,389.
Funding for these projects and the construction grants awarded in 2008 was authorized by the Patrick-Murray Administration and the Legislature in the General Governmental Needs Bond Bill, signed by the Governor on August 11, 2008.
Photos from the groundbreaking
Artist rendering of the new library
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.