Cambridge Celebrates its New Branch Library


November 04, 2019
Matthew Perry
Outreach Coordinator
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On Saturday, October 26, 2019, the Valente Branch of the Cambridge Public Library was celebrated as part of the larger opening of the King Open Community Complex in East Cambridge. The new Valente Branch is the first to be built in Cambridge since the Boudreau Branch was opened in 1989. The library project is funded in part through a $3,879,407 grant from the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP). In addition to the branch, the complex includes two schools, a community pool, basketball courts, administrative offices, Donnelly Field, and the Frisoli Community Center.

First constructed in 1961, the Valente Library is dedicated to the memory of Salvatore Valente, who was born and raised in the neighborhood, enlisted in the Army during World War II, and was killed in action during the war. The rededication of the library featured many members of the Valente family, including Salvatore’s brother Robert. The family donated a picture of Valente and his military medals including a Bronze Star and Purple Heart to be displayed in the new library.

Commissioner Les Ball attended and gave remarks on behalf of the MBLC and Governor Baker. “What you’ve created here is a great achievement” said Ball, adding “It’s a transformative effort for future generations. Libraries transform lives, and transform communities.”

The new building doubles the size of the branch from 5,000 sq. ft. to 10,000 sq. ft. It features a large community room that can be used for library events, and can be used by the public for other gatherings. The library will be open six days a week, and will pilot being open on Sundays, a first for the city.

Photos from the event can be seen on the MBLC’s Flickr page.

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 Boston, Dartmouth, Erving, Grafton, Hadley, Littleton, Marlborough, Medford, Monterey, Norwell, Sherborn, Springfield, and Weymouth.


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.