Webster Dedicates New Library


October 02, 2018
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

On September 29, 2018 local and state officials joined Webster residents to celebrate the dedication of the Gladys E. Kelly Public Library.  This $11.1 million project is part of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioner’s (MBLC) Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP). Webster received a grant from the MBLC totaling $7,567,412 in support of the new library. MBLC Chair Roland Ochsenbein congratulated the community, “This library will benefit your community now and for generations to come.”

Senator Ryan Fattman and Representative Joseph McKenna presented the community with a citation from the legislature. “America is great when America is good,” said Senator Fattman. “And this library is the best example of America doing good.” Town Administrator Doug Willardson recognized the library as an essential element in the effort to revitalize Webster’s downtown.

The new two-story light-filled library features generous room for browsing and collection growth, an expanded children’s room, a teen room, and a multipurpose/community room designed to accommodate after-hours use. “The teen room is packed every day,” said Library Director Amanda Grenier. “There’s no other free space in town just for teens,“ she added.

The new library replaces the 7,400 square foot Chester C. Corbin Public Library designed by Edward Tilton and built in 1921. The existing building was demolished to build a new library of 21,371 gross square feet on the same centrally located site in downtown Webster. The new library was designed by Oudens Ello Architects to be energy-efficient and cost-effective to operate and maintain.  It is named in honor of Gladys E. Kelly whose family donated $1 million to the project.  Mrs. Kelly was an avid reader and fostered the love of libraries and reading in her children.

Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program projects are currently under construction in Leicester, Sherborn, Stoughton, Woburn, Dartmouth, Springfield, and Monterey; and in the final planning stages in Erving, Hadley, Medford, Norwell, and Weymouth. MPLCP grants provide crucial funding that enables the libraries to meet the growing demand for services. Statewide, 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.

Funding for the MPLCP is authorized by the governor and the legislature. 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. Please visit the MBLC website for more information about the MPLCP.

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.