DATE: December 05, 2013
Persistence Pays Off in Granby
Forty years is a long time to work on a project, but that's how long library trustee Virginia Snopek has been heading up a team with the goal of building a new public library in Granby. On Saturday, November 16, Virginia and her team realized their goal. They celebrated with Granby residents and local and state officials as the ribbon was cut and the new Granby Free Public Library was dedicated. "We're like the Red Sox," Snopek said. "Persistence and determination paid off."
The new state-of-the art library sits on land generously donated to the town for the library project and its sustainable, environmentally-friendly design celebrates the natural beauty of the surrounding area while making the latest technology available to all Granby residents. State Senator Gale Candaras called the library a 21st century miracle. "In the midst of a recession, in the aftermath of devastation caused by the blizzard and in a time when people don't seem to believe in much, this community built a library - the ultimate symbol of hope."
Granby's residents will enjoy a children's room with separate programming area, local history room, a meeting room that can be used after library hours, and a new teen room -- none of these were available in the old building which was built in 1917. In 1917, when the town's population was fewer than 1,000, the library housed a collection of 5,000 volumes. Almost a century later, the same 1917 library was serving a population of more than 6,000 and held nearly 28,000 volumes, leaving little room for community activities and programming now possible in the new 12,000 square foot library. State Representative Ellen Storey remarked, "It is fitting that the library has the word 'free' in its name because it truly is the cornerstone of a democracy."
MBLC Commissioner Jan Resnick highlighted the writing of Neil Gaiman, who frequently stresses the importance of reading and imagination and the essential role of libraries in a free society. The MBLC awarded Granby a Public Library Construction Grant totaling $2,603,663 in July 2011. The total estimated cost for this project is $4,775,200. This project will also qualify for a $100,000 Green Library Incentive from the MBLC once it attains LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Granby Free Public Library is one of several Massachusetts Public Library Construction (MPLCP) projects opening this fall with grant assistance from the MBLC. Westwood Public Library and Millis Public Library opened in September. Projects in East Boston, Foxborough, and Holyoke celebrated openings in November. The average grant award for MPLCP projects is 50% of the total eligible costs. There are also library construction projects underway in Athol, Eastham, Edgartown, Everett, Framingham, Salisbury, South Hadley, Reading, West Springfield, West Tisbury, and Shrewsbury. Belmontand Scituate are working to secure local funding for their projects by December 31, 2013. Nine communities are on a waiting list for funding.
Please see photos of the Granby dedication. For more information, 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.