DATE: March 18, 2013
Governor Files Construction Bond Bill
On March 15, 2013 The Patrick-Murray Administration filed a series of bond bills totaling $3.8 billion that support the FY2013-2017 Capital Investment Plan which seeks to reverse decades of underinvestment, create jobs and improve the Commonwealth’s economic future. Among the bond bills filed is a general government bond bill for $928 million to support a wide range of capital projects including $150 million to fund library construction projects as part of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioner’s (MBLC) Public Library Construction Program.
“We thank Governor Patrick and Lt. Governor Murray for taking this important step to provide funding to the library construction projects that are currently on the Waiting List, “said MBLC Chair Frank Murphy. The MBLC created the Waiting List for funding during the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program’s FY2010-2011grant round. In May 2012, the Board approved the addition of projects in Somerville, Stoughton, Hatfield, Sherborn and Leicester to the existing waiting list. Communities currently on the Waiting List are as follows:
|Boston (East Boston Branch):||$7,255,988|
When the Senate and House approve the bond bill the MBLC will consider provisional grant awards to these libraries as funds become available in the Governor’s Capital Plan.
“The Patrick-Murray Administration recognizes the ongoing need to provide equal access to information and resources to all the Commonwealth’s residents, especially in this digital age,” said MBLC Director Robert Maier. During the past decade, library usage in the Commonwealth has soared with a 50% increase in library visits and a 29% increase in circulation.Many public libraries, some built over 100 years ago, struggle to meet the growing demand for library services in buildings that were built to serve much smaller local populations. The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program works with local communities to assist them in building, renovating, or expanding their local library so that it can meet residents' needs well into the future.
This is the second time the Patrick-Murray Administration has authorized significant bond funding for the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program. In 2008 the General Governmental Needs Bond Bill provided funding for projects that were completed in Mattapan (the Mattapan Branch of the Boston Public Library), Buckland, Dudley, Mashpee,Westhampton and Falmouth. The 2008 authorization is also funding projects that are currently underway in Athol, Edgartown, Everett, Foxborough, Granby, Holyoke, Millis, South Hadley, West Tisbury and Westwood.
For more information about the Massachusetts Public Library Construction program please visit the MBLC’s website: http://mblc.state.ma.us/grants/construction/
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.