New Library is Celebrated in Leicester


July 01, 2019
Matthew Perry
Outreach Coordinator
1-800-952-7403 x208

On Sunday, June 23, 2019 Leicester residents and local officials celebrated the opening of its newly restored and renovated public library. The $8.9 million project was funded in part through a $4.2 million grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP).

“What a wonderful day for the town of Leicester” said Commissioner Les Ball who spoke on behalf of the MBLC at the grand opening ceremony. “To all of you who have given to this project through time or treasure, what you have created here is a great achievement.”

A new wing was added to the original 1896 building, which was fully refurbished and made ADA accessible. The new building features a dedicated children’s room, a space for young adults and teens, new computer work stations, a local history museum, and new meeting rooms.

Former Worcester Telegram and Gazette Columnist, historian, and World War II veteran Albert Southwick was the honorary chair of the fundraising committee which raised over $3 million for the project, including an anonymous $2 million donation. In addition to the new library, Mr. Southwick’s 99th birthday was celebrated at the event.

Congressman Jim McGovern was also on hand to offer his congratulations, saying “learning never ends, and we come to places like this to expand our knowledge. This is an incredible day for people to celebrate.” State Senator Michael Moore and State Representative David LeBoeuf both gave their congratulations and presented citations from the General Court.

The ceremony also included the unveiling of plaques to commemorate the work done by Ernestine and Don Cherry, husband and wife and trustees for the library who worked hard over the course of several years to make this project a reality.

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. MPLCP projects are currently underway in Dartmouth, Erving, Hadley, Marlborough, Medford, Monterey, Norwell, Sherborn, Springfield, and Weymouth.

For more information about the program please visit the MBLC’s 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.