Leicester Breaks Ground on Library Renovation


August 11, 2017
Matthew Perry
Outreach Coordinator
1-800-952-7403 x208

On July 20, the town of Leicester celebrated the groundbreaking of their library renovation. The $8.9 million project is funded in part through a $4.2 million grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP).

“One of the best things we do at the MBLC is giving out construction grants” said MBLC Vice Chair Roland Ochsenbein, adding “Libraries transform lives, and libraries transform communities.”

The first library in Leicester was established in 1793 as a subscription library. On March 4, 1861, Town Meeting voted to establish a public library, and the social libraries in town were consolidated to establish the Leicester Public Library. On July 8, 1896, the building that houses the library was opened on land donated by Town Father Lory S. Watson. The original building was designed by Worcester Architect Stephen C. Earle.

The new wing being added to the original building will feature a dedicated children’s room, a space for young adults and teens, new computer work stations, a local history museum, and new meeting rooms.

“The Leicester Public Library is among the community’s most treasured public resources. Not only does the library provide a safe environment for children and adults to learn and imagine, but it is also a community wide gather place that promotes literacy, education and discovery” said State Senator Michael Moore in a statement. “Congratulations to the town of Leicester and all the partners who have worked so hard to bring this new project to fruition.”

Photos from the event can be found on the MBLC Flickr page.

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 Hopkinton, Sherborn, Stoughton, Webster, and Woburn. Communities with recently completed projects include Reading, Shrewsbury, Stoughton, and Scituate.

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.