Support for Summer Grants Awarded


January 28, 2019
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the first Support for Summer grants totaling $50,000 to 54 public libraries. Research shows that summer learning helps close the achievement gap between lower-income students and their middle-and upper-income peers and is a key factor in academic achievement.  Two types of grants were awarded in this pilot:  Summer Learning Expanded and Online Reading Program.

“We wanted to reach libraries that are typically unable to apply for the MBLC’s other direct grants,” said Lyndsay Forbes, MBLC Project Manager and Grants Specialist. “We streamlined the grant process and are pleased that so many communities are taking advantage of this opportunity.”  The new application schedule also means that libraries will receive funding ahead of the traditional start of summer reading. The MBLC and the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) are currently evaluating the first year of Support for Summer grants and will determine if this pilot will turn into a grant program that is offered each year.

Summer Learning Expanded grants were developed to assist libraries in expanding the concept of summer learning to beyond reading. Teen internship programs, a gardening series in partnership with local parks and recreation, art activities, healthy activities for libraries that serve as summer lunch sites, and STEM/STEAM programming are examples of how the grants take summer at the library to a new level.
The Summer Learning Expanded grant recipients are as follows:

Municipality Library Brief Grant Description Grant Amount
Athol Athol Public Library Athol Public Library will offer a fandom event that will be planned and executed in part with teens 2000.00
Belchertown Clapp Memorial Library Clapp Memorial Library will offer a series of programs aimed at teens promoting wellness, relaxation, and healthy living 1723.00
Beverly Beverly Public Library Beverly Public Library will offer a series of programs exploring robots and coding for a variety of ages 1975.00
Holyoke Holyoke Public Library Holyoke Public Library will hire the Puerto Rican arts collective ‘Colectivo Morivivi’ to work with youth to design and execute a mural 2000.00
Marlborough Marlborough Public Library Marlborough Public Library will offer tweens free-form art projects that encourage creative exploration and healthy self-expression 1163.00
Mashpee Mashpee Public Library Mashpee Public Library will offer programs and activities encouraging physical movement at their Project Bread site 2000.00
Norfolk Norfolk Public Library Norfolk Public Library will create a series of circulating kits that focus on STEM or other educational topics 1805.00
North Adams North Adams Public Library North Adams Public Library will host a teen internship program 1000.00
Northampton Forbes Library Forbes Library will offer a series of STEM programs focused on bots 900.00
Norton Norton Public Library Norton Public Library will create a STEAM-walk focused on the solar system 2000.00
Oakham Fobes Memorial Library Fobes Memorial Library will expand their current robotics program by adding more kits 990.00
Peabody Peabody Institute Library Peabody Institute Library will hire a professional musician and purchase additional musical instruments to assist youth in musical creation and exploration in their makerspace 2000.00
Somerset Somerset Public Library Somerset Public Library will hire a professional with a STEM background to provide in-depth expertise for their space-related programming 500.00
South Hadley South Hadley Public Library South Hadley Public Library will offer a week-long space camp featuring a series of programming 2000.00
Westminster Forbush Memorial Library Forbush Memorial Library will establish a Children’s Garden at the library and offer a variety of related programming 2000.00
 Total awarded     24056.00

Online Reading Program
Massachusetts was the first in the nation to offer an online summer reading program in 2007. Since then, the options for online programming have increased. The MBLC worked with MLS to develop Online Reading Program grants that allow libraries to choose an online program that best meets the needs of their community. Residents of all ages can use the online program to register, write book reviews, set goals, and track their progress online.
Online Reading Program grant recipients are as follows:

Municipality Library
Amesbury Amesbury Public Library
Ashburnham Stevens Memorial Library
Ashland Ashland Public Library
Athol Athol Public Library
Belchertown Clapp Memorial Library
Berkley Berkley Public Library
Beverly Beverly Public Library
Boxborough Sargent Memorial Library
Brewster Brewster Ladies' Library
Brookline Brookline Public Library
Burlington Burlington Public Library
Dennis Dennis Public Library
Dighton Dighton Public Library
Dover Dover Town Library
Georgetown Georgetown Public Library
Great Barrington Great Barrington Libraries
Kingston Kingston Public Library
Leverett Leverett Public Library
Marlborough Marlborough Public Library
Mashpee Mashpee Public Library
Maynard Maynard Public Library
Mendon Taft Public Library
Methuen Nevins Library
Middleborough Middleborough Public Library
Millbury Millbury Public Library
Needham Needham Free Public Library
Norfolk Norfolk Public Library
North Reading Flint Memorial Library
Northborough Northborough Free Library
Northbridge Whitinsville Social Library
Norwood Morrill Memorial Library
Oxford Oxford Free Public Library
Pembroke Pembroke Public Library
Revere Revere Public Library
Rowley Rowley Public Library
Seekonk Seekonk Public Library
Southwick Southwick Public Library
Sterling Conant Public Library
Sutton Sutton Free Public Library
Topsfield Topsfield Town Library
Townsend Townsend Public Library
West Bridgewater West Bridgewater Public Library
Weston Weston Public Library
Winchester Winchester Public Library
Yarmouth Yarmouth Town Libraries


On average, 350 libraries offer statewide summer reading each year, and in 2018, a new record of 492,424 children, teens, and adults participated. The Boston Bruins have been active partners and advocates for reading and literacy since 2009 and collaborate with the MBLC and the MLS to develop reading and literacy programming.

The Statewide Summer Library Program is made free to all public libraries and residents in the Commonwealth thanks to support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the Massachusetts Library System, and the Boston Bruins.


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.