Nearly $1 Million Awarded for Planning and Design


June 05, 2014
Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

On June 5, 2014, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) voted to award provisional planning and design grants totaling $959,425 to twenty communities across the Commonwealth. The grants are part of the MBLC's state-funded Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP).

"We're grateful to the governor and the legislature for their recognition that libraries are a vital part of our communities," MBLC Chair Frank Murphy said.

The MPLCP helps libraries across the state meet the growing demand for library services with expanded and improved library facilities. "Libraries are busy, but it's no longer just about books," Murphy said. "Libraries are where people turn for help with technology, for support starting a business, or for help looking for a job. The role of the library as a true community center continues to evolve and these grants help communities take the first step toward projects that benefit every resident."

Twenty-eight library applications went through a rigorous grant review process. The libraries were selected based on many factors including community need, an understanding of future trends in library services, integration with the library's long-range plan, support from local officials, and a plan for community input.

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, and project management services. The grants are capped at $50,000, or two-thirds of the eligible project costs, and require local match funding of up to $25,000. Libraries must secure this local match by January 31, 2015 to accept their grant funding. These grants, as well the support provided by MBLC library building specialists, benefit libraries that plan to apply for construction grants from the MPLCP in the future.

This is the fifth planning and design grant round offered by the MBLC since 1999. To date, the MBLC has awarded 81 planning and design grants. Through the MPLCP, more than 200 communities have completed library construction projects.

Funding for this grant round 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.

Planning & Design Award Recommendations




Amherst Jones Library Inc. $50,000
Brewster† Brewster Ladies' Library $50,000
Chester* Hamilton Memorial Library $41,205
Dartmouth Dartmouth Public Library $50,000
Deerfield§ Tilton Library $41,205
Dighton Dighton Public Library $50,000
East Bridgewater East Bridgewater Public Library $50,000
Erving Erving Public Library $50,000
Falmouth Falmouth Public Library: North Falmouth Branch $38,860
Greenfield Greenfield Public Library $50,000
Hadley Goodwin Memorial Library $50,000
Kingston Kingston Public Library $50,000
Littleton Reuben Hoar Library $50,000
Lynnfield Lynnfield Public Library $50,000
Monterey◊ Monterey Public Library $40,575
Nahant* Nahant Public Library $49,245
North Attleborough* Richards Memorial Library $50,000
Seekonk Seekonk Public Library $50,000
Sharon† Sharon Public Library $49,245
Springfield Springfield City Library: East Forest Park Branch $50,000
Sutton Sutton Free Public Library $50,000
Upton Upton Town Library $44,220
Westborough Westborough Public Library $45,895
Westford J.V. Fletcher Library $50,000

* These libraries have notified the MBLC that they will be unable to accept their planning and design grants.
§ Announced at the September 4, 2014 board meeting.
◊ Announced at the July 10, 2014 board meeting.
† Announced at the April 2, 2015 board meeting.

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.