Stoughton Celebrates New Library


December 18, 2018
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

On Saturday December 15, 2018 the new Stoughton Public Library opened to raves from residents. Old and young commented on how welcoming the new space is with one resident saying, “Stoughton deserves this.”  Chair of the Board of Selectman Bob O’Regan called the new library the “soul of the community” and recognized Library Director Pat Basler for her leadership in bringing the project to reality.

The project, which renovated and expanded the original 22,000 square foot 1969 library building to over 38,000 square feet, was completed with support from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners’ (MBLC) Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program.  In 2014, Stoughton received a $6,875,844 construction grant from the MBLC which is roughly half the cost of this $14.5 million project. MBLC Commissioner Les Ball, a former Stoughton resident, was on hand to congratulate the community.

The new library was designed to meet the needs of Stoughton’s diverse population for years to come.  As residents enter the library from Park Street they will notice the new children’s space on the right, complete with comfortable areas for families to enjoy a good book, areas for play and story time and a large craft room it is nearly double the size of the children’s area in the old library. To the left new computers are situated in a light filled area for young adults.  This space also offers comfortable seating and a large Makerspace for teens where teens can create and learn. Computers in the children’s and teen areas use Chrome to be compatible with the school system.

The upper level boasts a large community room and attached kitchen; with a separate entrance, this space can be used by community groups after hours. The café, more computers, flexible space, a large classroom and comfortable seating help to make the upper area a welcoming space for anyone needing to do research, use technology, work in groups, do homework, take classes or find resources. There is also an area reserved for local art and an historical room. The library has wireless capability throughout and is fully ADA compliant.

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. Since its inception in 1987, the MPLCP has assisted communities in building over 250 libraries.

Currently, the MBLC is seeking a new $250 million bond authorization to continue this successful program. 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. For more information about the MPLCP, please visit the MBLC website. Photos from the opening are also available.

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.