NEWS RELEASE

MBLC Awards more than $13 million for Library Construction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 11, 2019
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208
celeste.bruno@state.ma.us

At its July 11, 2019 board meeting, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) awarded provisional construction grants to the Reuben Hoar Library in Littleton in the amount of $5,844,747 and to the Sharon Public Library in the amount of $7,485,943 through its Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP).

The Littleton project will build a new two-level building on a site directly adjacent to the current library/town hall and will feature a much larger children’s area, larger meeting spaces, and more private study spaces. The new building will be more flexible and energy efficient, a major concern among many in the Littleton community. It will also be ADA compliant.

In Sharon, a new library will be built about a quarter mile from the current library and will include a teen room, media lab, business pods for work-at-home library patrons, improved telecommunications and HVAC systems, improved security and building access with full ADA compliance, larger community room and quiet study spaces.

The libraries were originally placed on the MPLCP waitlist during the July 13, 2017 board meeting when the first round of project grants was approved. The communities have six months to secure the local match funding necessary to accept the grants.

The MBLC also approved Library Green Incentive awards for each project. Green Library Incentives help offset the cost of incorporating environmentally friendly and energy-efficient systems in library building projects. Projects that attain the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification will receive 2-3.5% of the grant award in additional state funds administered by the MBLC.

The MPLCP has benefitted more than 250 towns and cities in Massachusetts since its inception in 1987. Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program projects are currently underway in Dartmouth, Erving, Hadley, Marlborough, Medford, Monterey, Norwell, Sherborn, Springfield, and Weymouth.

The MBLC is currently seeking additional bond funding in order to fund all libraries on the waitlist and start a new grant round. It is also requesting an increase in the yearly capital budget from $20 million to $25 million in order move through the waitlist in a timelier manner and save local communities the increased construction costs that come with waiting several years for the state funding needed to start projects. For more information about the MPLCP please visit the MBLC’s website.

About MBLC

The Board of Library Commissioners (mass.gov/mblc) 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.