Town of Shrewsbury Celebrates New Library


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

On September 21, 2016, Shrewsbury residents were joined by local and state officials at the grand opening of the newly renovated Shrewsbury Public Library. The $23 million project was funded in part through a $7.9 million grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners' (MBLC) Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program, and took two years to complete.

Lt. Governor and Shrewsbury native Karyn Polito was in attendance and started the ceremony by remarking on her relationship with the library. "I remember walking to this library and doing homework upstairs," she said. "For me, this is a full circle experience; my daughter came home after visiting the new building and said, 'I can't wait to go back again.'"

Polito also noted the importance of state funding for library construction projects such as Shrewsbury's. "We love the [Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program]. Not all states have this," she said.

The new addition, designed by Lamoureux Pagano Associates, adds on to the historic 1903 building which was also fully renovated. New computers, a new community meeting space, group meeting rooms, and a courtyard off of the children's room were all added to meet the growing demand for library services. As State Representative Hannah Kane said, "The library isn't just a place for books, but a critical community link."

MBLC Secretary Roland Ochsenbein also congratulated the community. Noting the connection to the original library building, dedicated on September 24, 1903, he said, "113 years later nearly to the day, we now rededicate this library in a new century and age. What a great day for Shrewsbury."

Local fundraising efforts contributed to the success of the project, raising $1.75 million in private donations. "This beautiful building shows to our community that libraries matter to us," said Library Director Ellen Dolan.

Funding for the MPLCP is authorized by the governor and state legislature. The MPLCP was first funded by a state bond authorization in 1987. Since then, it has helped hundreds of communities build, renovate and/or expand their public libraries. The MPLCP also awards planning and design grants to support public libraries as they prepare to apply for a construction grant.

MPLCP projects are currently underway in Eastham, Hopkinton, Leicester, Scituate, Sherborn, Stoughton, Webster, and Woburn. Communities with recently completed projects include Edgartown, Framingham, Reading, Salisbury, and West Springfield.

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.