Green Incentives Available for Library Construction


September 05, 2008
Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

Massachusetts Libraries are going green with the help of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). At the Board’s monthly meeting on September 4, 2008, the Commissioners approved a “Green Library Incentive.” This incentive encourages the recipients of the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) provisional construction grants, awarded in August, to incorporate green or sustainable elements in their building projects.

For a list of MPLCP libraries and their awards please see:

“Encouraging green libraries as part of the Library Construction Program makes sense. Communities will reap savings in smarter buildings designed for the 21st Century. The Board of Library Commissioners is pleased to be able to provide the financial incentives for smarter, greener and more sustainable buildings,” stated George T. Comeau, MBLC Board Chairman.

Green library design focuses on site location, water consumption, energy use, environmental impact, construction waste, choice of building materials, indoor air quality. Efficient heating and cooling systems as well as alternative energy sources such as solar or wind power may also be design elements of a green library.

The incentive would amount to 5% of the town’s MPLCP construction award or $100,000, whichever is greater. While the Board encourages libraries to seek higher levels of LEED certification, the library must attain at least the basic level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Additional funding may also be available for libraries that achieve a higher level of LEED certification.

Although many public libraries across the Commonwealth have incorporated green elements into their design, North Adams Public Library is currently the only one that has attained LEED certification.

Municipalities that received provisional construction grants on August 14, 2008 are eligible to receive a Green Library Incentive and should submit a Letter of Intent to the MBLC by November 3, 2008. No further application, beyond submission of the Letter of Intent and submission of LEED certification will be necessary. Funds will be disbursed by the MBLC in a lump sum upon official notification of the project’s LEED certification by the Green Building Council.

Funding to support the MPLCP and the Green Library Incentive was made available through the $3 billion General Governmental Needs Bond Bill authorized by the Legislature and signed by Governor Deval Patrick on August 11, 2008. 

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.