DATE: October 24, 2013
Millis's Modern Public Library
In her remarks at the dedication of the new Millis Public Library, Director Patricia Perry said, "This is the realization of a dream and a shining example of a modern American public library." Both the interior and exterior of the new Millis Public Library are designed with all ages of the community in mind.
The new library offers many features unavailable in the former library: a meeting room that can be used even when the library is closed, a vibrant teen room, spaces for quiet reading and collaboration, and better access to technology. The children's room has been expanded and has a dedicated space for programming. It also features nearly 200 ceramic tiles decorated by members of the community in celebration of the town and the Millis Public Library.
The library wraps around a central garden green with windows and doors that lead out to this common area which can be used to host community events in the warmer weather. It is within walking distance from area schools and sits proudly on the community's main thoroughfare.
The need for the new library was evident as the former building, just 5,400 square feet with a flat leaky roof and mold problems, was built in the mid 1960s before technology became an integral library service and when the population of Millis was just 5,474. The current population is nearly 8,000 and the new 17,800 square foot single story facility will meet the needs of Millis residents well into the future.
"New libraries for the digital age are no longer just transactional, new libraries are transformational -- they are game changers," said Commissioner Mary Ann Cluggish from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). "I have no doubt that this library will be a game changer for Millis. New libraries rejuvenate business districts and downtown; they become the town's gathering place and create a sense of community and fellowship in a way that only libraries can offer."
In 2010, the MBLC awarded Millis a Massachusetts Public Library Construction grant totaling $2,789,569 for this $7.7 million project which broke ground in December 2011. The project is also eligible for a MPLCP Green Library Incentive from the MBLC totaling $139,478. The Green Library Incentive helps libraries in the MPLCP build environmentally responsible LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
State Senator Richard Ross, a lifelong Friend of the Millis Public Library, said, "The fact that we're still investing in libraries in the Commonwealth speaks to how valuable education and community are to all of us." His colleague State Representative David Linsky agreed, "This building transforms your community and your downtown. The increase in usage and in people coming to the library also make it a vital part of economic re-development."
Millis Public Library is one of several Massachusetts Public Library Construction projects opening this fall. Westwood Public Library opened earlier in September and projects in East Boston, Granby, Foxborough, and Holyoke are set to celebrate openings in November. There are also library construction projects underway in Athol, Eastham, Edgartown, Everett, Framingham, Salisbury, South Hadley, Reading, West Springfield, and West Tisbury. Belmont, Shrewsbury, and Scituate are working to secure local funding for their projects by December 31, 2013. Nine communities are on a waiting list for funding.
For more information about the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program, 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.