NEWS RELEASE

MBLC Grants Support Local Library Initiatives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 09, 2020
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208
celeste.bruno@state.ma.us

At its July 9, 2020 Board meeting, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) awarded $454,305 in 40 grants to public, academic, and special libraries across the Commonwealth under the Federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) which is funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

“Education is key to improving lives and the MBLC developed this direct grant program to help libraries meet local community needs” said Robert Favini, Head of Library Advisory and Development at the MBLC. “This year’s grants address environmental issues, social justice, preservation of historic assets, job skills and more; and while the local community directly benefits from these grants, they also help strengthen the entire Commonwealth.”

Grants are open to libraries of all types that meet the eligibility requirements.

Members of the MBLC’s State Advisory Council on Libraries review and evaluate grant applications and make funding recommendations to the MBLC.

The complete list of grant recipients is below along with highlights from some of this year’s projects.

FY2021 Grants by Municipality

Institution Name

Grant Category

Amount Requested

1st Year Requested

2nd Year Requested

Acton Memorial Library

Town-Wide Preservation

$30,000.00

$30,000.00

 

Steven Memorial Library

Serving Tweens and Teens

$17,100.00

$10,400.00

$6,700.00

Cotuit Library

Dig In

$8,975.00

$8,975.00

 

Beverly Public Library

Health and Wellness

$7,500.00

$7,500.00

 

Billerica Public Library

Health and Wellness

$7,500.00

$7,500.00

 

Blackstone Public Library

IdeaLab

$12,000.00

$12,000.00

 

Porter Memorial Library

Protecting Priority Collections

$5,088.00

$5,088.00

 

Mass Eye and Ear, Howe Library

Protecting Priority Collections

$5,698.00

$5,698.00

 

Canton Public Library

Serving Tweens and Teens

$20,000.00

$9,450.00

$10,550.00

Gleason Public Library

Access for All

$14,235.00

$11,935.00

$2,300.00

Charlton Public Library

Mind in the Making

$10,000.00

$10,000.00

 

Chelmsford Public Library

Health and Wellness

$7,500.00

$7,500.00

 

Bigelow Free Public Library

At the Table

$10,000.00

$10,000.00

 

Griswold Memorial Library

Dig In

$5,000.00

$5,000.00

 

Eastham Public Library

Dig in

$9,991.00

$9,991.00

 

Ames Free Library

Go Local

$10,000.00

$6,510.00

$3,490.00

Framingham State/Henry Whittemore Library

Civic Hub

$7,500.00

$7,500.00

 

Georgetown Peabody Library

Anytime STEM Learning

$7,500.00

$7,500.00

 

Sawyer Free Library

Pathways to Success

$7,500.00

$7,500.00

 

Kingston Public Library

Mind in the Making

$10,000.00

$10,000.00

 

Maynard Public Library

Open

$5,000.00

$5,000.00

 

Montague Public Libraries

Town-Wide Preservation

$30,000.00

$30,000.00

 

New Bedford Free Public Library - Wilks Branch

Health and Wellness

$7,500.00

$7,500.00

 

Norfolk Public Library

IdeaLab

$15,000.00

$15,000.00

 

Forbes Library

Go Local

$15,000.00

$7,500.00

$7,500.00

Northborough Free Library

Health and Wellness

$7,500.00

$7,500.00

 

Morrill Memorial Library

Civic Hub

$7,500.00

$7,500.00

 

Oak Bluffs Public Library

Go Local

$15,000.00

$7,685.00

$7,315.00

Pembroke Public Library

Health and Wellness

$7,500.00

$7,500.00

 

Sharon Public Library

Open

$9,100.00

$9,100.00

 

Somerville Public Library

Citizenship Corners

$13,305.00

$6,653.00

$6,652.00

Southborough Library

Dig In

$10,000.00

$10,000.00

 

Springfield City Library

Strength in Families

$10,000.00

$10,000.00

 

Sutton Free Public Library

Town-Wide Preservation

$17,350.00

$17,350.00

 

Swampscott Public Library

Town-Wide Preservation

$26,500.00

$26,500.00

 

Lucius Beebe Memorial Library

Civic Hub

$7,500.00

$7,500.00

 

Wayland Free Public Library

Mind in the Making

$9,963.00

$9,963.00

 

West Tisbury Free Public Library

At the Table

$10,000.00

$10,000.00

 

Whitman Public Library

Mind in the Making

$10,000.00

$10,000.00

 

Worcester Public Library

Mind in the Making

$7,500.00

$7,500.00

 

 

 

$454,305.00

$409,798.00

$44,507.00

In Oak Bluffs, which is nationally recognized as a place of African American history and culture, the library will use the grant to create a Memory Lab and a Recording Lab so that the African American community can preserve local history as told through their own stories. The library will provide step-by-step instructions and skilled technical assistance, but the community members will control the process and content. Ultimately, the aim is that many of these preserved or newly created stories will be added to the library’s local history collection, celebrated in library programming and featured in a new Oak Bluffs African American History exhibit.

Springfield City Library will use a Strength in Families grant to develop Family Literacy Advocates. Composed of parents, grandparents, and caregivers, Family Literacy Advocates will learn together to create a network of knowledgeable and skilled experts that provide advice and resources to other families. By learning together in a cohort model, these family members will be supports for one another when challenges arise. This learning will be delivered in a two-generation approach, with children engaging in the literacy and developmental practices while their caregivers are learning about those same topics, as well as strategies to engage with elected officials, policymakers and neighborhood councils. Empowered families will make a deep impact on their community to extend the reach of this project, making a ripple effect, exponential in its reach, through ongoing peer training.

The Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library is using a Pathways to Success grant to provide support for residents seeking to improve job skills. Gloucester is a strong seaside community struggling with its changing economy. Without the necessary skills, training, and support, year-round living wage employment is out of reach for Gloucester’s marginalized populations. Through this grant, the library will become a platform for Gloucester to connect with opportunities, information and assistance in job seeking and work readiness. Gloucester residents living on the margins will benefit from the programs and resources borne out of the Library’s collaboration with nonprofit and governmental organizations.

Several Cape libraries are using Dig In grants to improve and educate their communities. The Cotuit Library in Barnstable will offer a series of workshops, lectures and presentations tied to a new stormwater bioretention garden that is being built adjacent to its parking lot. The programming, for both children and adults, will help educate the public about the importance of reducing the amount of chemicals and bacteria in stormwater runoff in Cape Cod’s Three Bays watershed by employing eco-friendly lawn care techniques and creating their own green infrastructures on their property.

The Eastham Public Library will add a pollinator’s garden to provide a much needed home for local pollinators, as well as attract people outside to experience nature, explore it and learn from it. Working with community partners, Pollinators’ Playground will offer both observational and hands-on educational opportunities. Detailed signage throughout the garden will allow visitors to learn about the pollination process. Circulating science backpacks and educational materials will be available to support further exploration in the garden and beyond. The library will also offer a variety of informative programs for all ages.

In addition to the direct library grant program, the MBLC uses LSTA funds to support statewide programs and services including summer reading programs, research databases, the statewide eBook program, the Commonwealth Catalog and mass.gov/libraries which has information and resources for residents.  LSTA is administered on the federal level by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in the Commonwealth by the MBLC. More information about LSTA can be found on the Board's website at www.mass.gov/mblc.

IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Their mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. IMLS’ grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov.

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.