News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

DATE: June 19, 2013
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

MBLC Authorizes New Planning and Design Grant Round

At its June 6th Board Meeting, The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) authorized a new Planning and Design Grant Application Round under the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP). 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 MPLCP 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.

Planning and Design Grants may be used for preparation of a library building program, architectural feasibility studies, engineering analysis of an existing building or alternative sites, schematic design, cost analysis of options, site investigation, project management services, etc. Libraries may apply for up to $50,000 or two-thirds of the eligible Project Costs and are required to secure local match funding of up to $25,000.

To be eligible for one of these grants, the municipality and applicant library must meet eligibility requirements including being a State-Aid certified library and the library must have a current long-range plan on file with the MBLC by October 1, 2013. Full eligibility requirements are listed in the program Regulations 605 CMR 6.00 and may be found on the MBLC website.

Letters of Intent are due September 13, 2013, with an application filed by January 16, 2014. The MBLC will hold information sessions in June and mandatory workshops for applicants will be held in September and October. It is anticipated that the Board will make its awards in June, 2014. The entire grant round calendar may be found on the MBLC's website.

This is the fifth planning and design grant round offered by the MBLC since 1999, the most recent being in 2006. To date the MBLC has awarded 84 Planning and Design Grants.

Funding for this grant round is made possible through a 2008 state bond authorization by the Patrick-Murray Administration and the state legislature. Library construction projects in Mattapan (the Mattapan Branch of the Boston Public Library), Buckland, Dudley, Mashpee, Westhampton and Falmouth were completed with state-funded MPLCP grants in conjunction with local match funding. MPLCP projects are currently underway in Athol, Everett, Foxborough, Granby, Holyoke, Millis, South Hadley, West Tisbury and Westwood. Salisbury recently received its local match and will move forward with a project as well. For more information please visit the MBLC's website.

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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