MBLC Seeking New Construction Bond


November 19, 2018
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners is seeking a new $250 million bond authorization to continue the successful Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP). The new bond will fund the 18 projects that are currently on the MPLCP waitlist, a Planning and Design Grant Round and a new Construction Grant Round.

MPLCP grants provide crucial funding that enables public libraries to meet the growing and rapidly changing 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. “These projects have an enormous impact on the communities they serve,” said MBLC Director James Lonergan. “Communities experience a revitalization and the library becomes an even more integral center of the community. All residents are able to find materials, services and programming that impact their lives for the better.”

Raise the Annual Cap
The MBLC is also requesting that the annual capital budget, the amount of funding the MPLCP can spend each year, be increased. If the annual capital budget for the MPLCP stays at its current level of $20 million, the last project on the waiting listed will be funded in 2028, completed in 2033. The longer a community goes without being able to start its project, the higher the construction costs will be. The MBLC is asking to raise the annual cap to $25 million starting in FY2020 to shorten the process.

“We’re hopeful that with the support of the library community, the legislature, Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito that we will have the new bond and increased spending cap in place for FY2020,” said Lonergan.

Support from the Library Community Needed
While MBLC staff and Commissioners are working towards the goals of a new bond authorization and an increased annual cap, support from the library community is crucial. “We encourage residents and library supporters of waitlisted libraries, of libraries that are considering a project, and of libraries that have had successful projects, to contact legislators and let them know how important the MPLCP program is,” said MBLC Chair Roland Ochsenbein.

The MBLC staff is also collecting stories about how the MPLCP has impacted a local community.  Stories may be shared with Lauren Stara, Library Building Specialist, at or 800-952-7403 x245. A fact sheet with more information and  project sheets  for all waitlisted libraries are also available.

The MPLCP has benefitted 253 towns and cities in Massachusetts since its inception in 1987. 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. More information about the program can be found on the MBLC 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.