MBLC Grants Help Libraries Innovate


July 27, 2016
Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

At its July 14 meeting, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) awarded $310,149 in 29 grants to public and academic libraries throughout the Commonwealth under the Federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

"These libraries are to be congratulated. It's clear from the high quality of their proposals that a lot of hard work and careful analysis of local needs went into the preparation of the grants," said Ruth Urell, Head of Library Advisory and Development at the MBLC. "The ideas and creativity expressed in these exciting and innovative projects will lead to outstanding results that benefit local communities throughout Massachusetts."

Shrewsbury Public Library is using an Innovative Program grant to launch the Good Day Memory café to serve the growing population of people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia, as well as their care partners. The library will host bimonthly meetings to offer socialization opportunities that will enhance health and well-being for both the person with Alzheimer's and their care partners. Library resources will be expanded to meet the needs of this population and will be used as part the café meetings.

Weymouth Public Library is also using an Innovative Program grant to get commuters reading with its "All Aboard, Greenbush!: One Train, One Book" initiative. The program connects the riders of the Greenbush Commuter Line to their local libraries in Hingham, Scituate, and Weymouth - and to their fellow passengers - by engaging them in a Greenbush-wide reading of The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry That Built America's First Subway by Doug Most. In collaboration with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, author Doug Most, and the Cohasset Historical Society, the program will introduce commuter rail riders to the extensive digital and print resources and services available in their local communities.

Several libraries are using Mind in the Making grants to develop innovative programming and spaces that encourage invention and tinkering, where children ages 0-6 can explore simple concepts in tactile, real ways. This kind of space fuels a child's natural curiosity and teaches valuable lessons by helping them develop fine motor skills, problem solving abilities, and peer relationships. Activities also include family programs on the Brain Building in Progress website and creativity kits that can be borrowed by parents and caregivers, or used in local preschools.

A complete list of the awards is below. Descriptions of all LSTA grant opportunities are available on the MBLC website.

Municipality Institution Name Grant Category Award Amount
Amherst Jones Library Mind in the Making $10,000
Andover Memorial Hall Library Preservation Assessment $4,200
Barnstable Cotuit Library Innovative - Computer Coding Camp (CS3) $7,956
Barnstable Marstons Mills Public Library Customer Experience $10,000
Barre Woods Memorial Library Mind in the Making $10,000
Bellingham Bellingham Public Library Mind in the Making $10,000
Boston Boston Public Library Innovative - Engineering is Everywhere $7,500
Chelsea Chelsea Public Library Citizenship Corners and Expanded English Language Services $15,000
Cohasset Paul Pratt Memorial Library Serving People with Disabilities $9,889
Concord Concord Free Public Library Mind in the Making $7,500
Framingham Framingham State Library, Henry Whittemore Library Jobs/Career Information at Your Library $6,288
Framingham Framingham Public Library Mind in the Making $7,500
Maynard Maynard Public Library Financial Literacy for All Ages $6,300
Melrose Melrose Public Library Science is Everywhere $7,500
Montague Montague Public Libraries Science is Everywhere $7,500
Needham Needham Free Public Library Science is Everywhere $7,500
North Andover Merrimack College, McQuade Library Innovative - STEMsmart Teachers $7,860
Northborough Northborough Public Library Mind in the Making $10,000
Oak Bluffs Oak Bluffs Public Library Serving People with Disabilities $15,000
Quincy Thomas Crane Public Library Preservation Assessment $4,200
Quincy Thomas Crane Public Library Citizenship Corners and Expanded English Language Services $15,000
Shrewsbury Shrewsbury Public Library Innovative - Good Day Memory Café $10,000
Somerset Somerset Public Library Mind in the Making $10,000
Somerville Somerville Public Library Customer Experience $9,109
South Hadley South Hadley Public Library Serving Tweens and Teens $15,000
Stoneham Stoneham Public Library Framework for Health Literacy $7,500
Sunderland Sunderland Public Library Customer Experience $8,876
Swampscott Swampscott Public Library Mind in the Making $7,500
Tisbury Vineyard Haven Public Library Mind in the Making $10,000
Tyngsborough Tyngsborough Public Library Preservation Assessment $4,200
West Tisbury West Tisbury Public Library Framework for Health Literacy $7,500
Westwood Westwood Public Library Reader's Advisory $7,500
Weymouth Weymouth Public Libraries Innovative - All Aboard, Greenbush!: One Train, One Book $21,375
Worcester Worcester Public Library Preservation Assessment $4,200

Libraries use LSTA grants in a variety of ways, including implementing literacy programs that benefit all ages, increasing library access to underserved populations, providing advanced automation services, training staff, and preserving valuable historical documents.

In addition to the direct library grant program, the MBLC uses LSTA funds to support statewide programs and services including summer reading programs, databases, the Commonwealth eBook program, the Commonwealth Catalog (the new virtual catalog), and the Massachusetts Libraries website, which has information and resources for residents.

LSTA is administered on the federal level by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in the Commonwealth by the MBLC. More information about LSTA can be found on Board's website at

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.