Reading Cuts Ribbon On New Library Building


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

It was standing room only at the grand opening of the brand new Reading Public Library as residents flocked to see the renovated building for the first time. After two years of being housed in a temporary space, the expanded library was a welcome sight for patrons young and old.

The $18.3 million project, funded in part through a $5.1 million grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP), renovated the historic Highland School, home to the library since 1984. It added 7,000 square feet in a new addition designed by CBT Architects, featuring a new community meeting space, group meeting rooms, a teen space, new computers, and a large children's space on the second floor. It also includes a larger meeting room with its own entrance that allows it to be available for use after hours.

MBLC Commissioner Frank Murphy congratulated the community on its new building and summed up the feeling of the day. "Every library opening and groundbreaking is like a happy wedding. It's a joyous occasion," he said.

The library also received high praise from Keith Michael Fiels, the executive director of the American Library Association and former MBLC director. He said, "For libraries, the United States leads the world, Massachusetts leads the United States, and today, I believe that Reading is leading Massachusetts."

Massachusetts House of Representatives Minority Leader Brad Jones described the library as "awesome." He added, "Libraries are a living legacy, from one generation to another." Senator Jason Lewis added to that sentiment, noting "this building will be enjoyed by generations to come."

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, Salisbury, Shrewsbury, 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.