News Release

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

DATE: June 09, 2014
CONTACT: Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

Salisbury Public Library Breaks Ground

On Friday, June 6, 2014, the town of Salisbury celebrated the groundbreaking for its new library. This complete teardown will demolish the existing 1956 building and replace it with a new, modern facility in the same centrally located site on Salisbury’s town green.

The project, which is part of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners' (MBLC) Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP), was on the construction waiting list until it was awarded a provisional state-funded grant totaling $3,856,187 in September 2012. In May 2013, voters approved the project, thanks in large part to the library's exemplary community awareness campaign.

State, local, and library officials, as well as MBLC Commissioner Mary Ann Cluggish, joined members of the public in honoring the town's hard work and cooperation in guiding this project to success. Under cloudy skies that gave way to warm sunshine midway through the ceremony, Salisbury's community was congratulated for its willingness to join forces in making the new library a reality.

"You've united to make a decision to create a community space where you can gather, meet, and talk," State Senator Kathleen O'Connor Ives said. "This is just the beginning of the process."

"It's not every day you get to say this new library will be over five times the size of the current building," Commissioner Cluggish said. The existing building is 3,047 square feet in size; the new facility will expand to 17,105 square feet. "It's a big deal."

Commissioner Cluggish also emphasized just how much effort went into the fundraising and public relations campaigns. "You had extraordinary PR, town support, and a very energetic director," she said. "It's hard to find the money for these projects, but Salisbury has done it right."

Jeanette Lazarus, chair of the library's Board of Trustees, likened the project to the children's books If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and The Little Engine That Could. "Just like in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, one thing leads to another with the grant process. It started by looking to update our computers, then led to writing a long range plan, then to applying for a planning and design grant, then applying for construction money," she said. "But the library staff came together to make this happen -- the little engine that could, and would, and has."

The accessible new library will include a multipurpose room, children's room, and teen room, as well as increased collection space, public seating, and staff workspace. The project will qualify for a Green Library Incentive grant following completion if the building attains official LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

View photos of the groundbreaking on the MBLC's Flickr page.

Funding for the MPLCP is made possible through a 2008 state bond authorization by the Patrick-Murray Administration and the Legislature. Library construction projects in Athol, Buckland, Dudley, Boston (the East Boston and Mattapan branches of the Boston Public Library), Falmouth, Foxborough, Granby, Holyoke, Mashpee, Millis, Walpole, Westhampton, West Tisbury, and Westwood were recently completed with MPLCP grants from the 2008 authorization, in conjunction with local match funding.

MPLCP projects are currently underway in Eastham, Edgartown, Everett (the Shute Memorial Branch of the Everett Public Library), Framingham (the McAuliffe Branch of the Framingham Public Library), Reading, Salisbury, Scituate, Shrewsbury, South Hadley, and West Springfield. 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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