Baker-Polito Administration awards $67 Million in Construction Grants through MBLC


July 13, 2017
Celeste Bruno
Communications Specialist
1-800-952-7403 x208

NEEDHAM – July 13, 2017 – Today, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) awarded nine communities Provisional Construction Grants through the state-funded Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP). Twenty-four other communities have been placed on a waitlist and will receive grants as funding becomes available.

"The Comonwealth's local public libraries provide individuals of all ages with invaluable resources that they otherwise might not be able to access," said Governor Charlie Baker. "Our administration is pleased to once again support this important grant program that invests in cities and towns across the Commonwealth."

The grants provide crucial funding to local libraries that enable libraries to meet the growing demand for services. Attendance at public library programs has increased 49% since 2006 and every 5.5 seconds a Massachusetts resident accesses the Internet through a public library. The grants are part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to ensuring that all the residents of the Commonwealth have equal access to information, technology, resources and programming.

“We’re sometimes asked whether libraries are still necessary in this digital age,” said MBLC Chair Mary Ann Cluggish. “The answer is an overwhelming ‘yes’. Libraries are busier than ever assisting residents with job searches or business start-ups, teaching residents to use new technology or simply providing the only free space where everyone in the community can continue their education. This important work would not be possible without the support of Governor Baker and the Legislature.”

The average grant award is 45-50% of the eligible costs with the remaining cost incurred by the municipality.

Communities receiving grants are as follows (listed alphabetically):

Muncipality Library Grant Award
Dartmouth Dartmouth Public Libraries - North Dartmouth Branch $5,346,004
Hadley Goodwin Memorial Library $3,905,625
Kingston Kingston Public Library $6,893,430
Medford Medford Public Library $12,290,917
Norwell Norwell Public Library $6,360,764
Springfield Springfield City Library - East Forest Park Branch $4,906,115
Sutton Sutton Public Library $4,979,584
Wayland Wayland Free Public Library $10,137,980
Weymouth Weymouth Public Libraries - Tufts Library $12,085,184

The MBLC also offers Green Library Incentives which help offset the cost of incorporating environmentally friendly and energy-efficient systems in library building projects. Projects that attain the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification will receive 2-3.5% of the grant award in additional state funds administered by the MBLC. Commissioners authorized $2,341,695 in Green Library Incentives for the projects that received Provisional Construction Grants.

During the next six months, grant recipients will work with their communities to secure the local match funding necessary to accept their grants. “Local support is key to the success of a project because it ensures that each project meets the unique needs of its residents,” said Rosemary Waltos, MBLC Library Building Specialist.

For this grant round, 33 libraries applied for construction grants through the MBLC’s construction program. Twenty-four libraries have been waitlisted and will receive construction grants as the funding becomes available either through the existing bond bill or a future bond authorization.

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

Funding for the MPLCP is authorized by the governor and the legislature. Funding for this grant round is part of the general governmental needs bond bill filed in March, 2013 which included $150 million for the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program. This funding was also used to award construction grants to 11 communities that had been on a waitlist for several years and will be used to support a future Planning and Design grant round.

The MPLCP was first funded in 1987. Since then, the program has assisted hundreds of communities in building new libraries or in renovating and expanding existing libraries. For more information about the program, please visit the MBLC's website:

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.