MBLC Library Construction Recognized as Leader by Governor


December 15, 2021
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

Thanks to the innovative work being done by the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners was recently awarded a Leading by Example award. The MBLC was one of eleven Massachusetts state agencies, public higher education institutions, municipalities, and public sector individuals recognized by the Baker-Polito Administration for their leadership in promoting initiatives that reduce environmental impacts and associated energy costs of state operations.

“Public sector leaders at the state and local level play a crucial role in contributing innovative approaches and solutions that help our state meet its ambitious climate and clean energy goals,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Today’s award ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate the good work of our state and municipal leaders and the action they are taking to protect our environment, reduce costs and embrace forward-looking solutions to our energy challenges.”

MBLC Chair Mary Ann Cluggish, MBLC Director James Lonergan and MBLC Library Building Specialists  Andrea Bono-Bunker and Lauren Stara represented the agency at the December 10th awards ceremony which honored state and municipal leaders for implementing policies and programs that advance significant energy and emissions reductions, renewable energy installations, energy efficiency, waste minimization, electric vehicle infrastructure, and a host of initiatives that reduce environmental impacts and costs.

"It’s an honor to be recognized,” said MBLC Library Building Specialist Andrea Bono-Bunker. “From 2008, when library building specialist Ann Larson championed the Green Library Incentive, the MPLCP has supported sustainable building practices and operations with over $4 million in Green Library Incentive grants. Our program remains committed to educating library building project stakeholders about energy efficient design and to incentivizing sustainable construction."​ (photos from the ceremony)

The MPLCP is integrating the goals of Executive Order 594 into its funding programs to support the construction of highly efficient public libraries across the Commonwealth. Over the last several years, the MPLCP helped fund the construction of green libraries that will use no or limited fossil fuels. Recently funded projects include an all-electric HVAC system and geothermal wells for the Cambridge Public Library, and an all-electric VRF HVAC system and infrastructure for a future solar PV installation at the Medford Public Library.

The construction team has also created Building Literacy: Library Construction Podcast which takes on the issues facing libraries and communities regarding library design and construction. Four podcast episodes are devoted to sustainable design and building practices. They recently developed Library Space: A Planning Resource for Librarians, a formal set of best practices for designing library space that may be applied to libraries across the nation. Libraries and Sustainability, a new book from the American Library Association, includes a chapter by the MBLC Library Building Specialists, discussing three case studies from Massachusetts library buildings that exemplify environmental sustainability.

The Leading by Example (LBE) program is administered by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and works collaboratively with state agencies and public colleges and universities to advance clean energy and sustainable practices that reduce the environmental impacts of state government operations. Cities and towns across the Commonwealth receive similar support and grant funding through DOER’s Green Communities Division. The full list of award winners is listed below.

The MPLCP was first funded by a state bond authorization in 1987. Since then, it has helped more than 250 communities plan, build, renovate and/or expand their public libraries. MPLCP projects are currently underway in the following communities:  Grafton, Marlborough, Medford, Sharon, and Sherborn. Projects in Dartmouth, Erving, Hadley, Norwell, Roxbury, and Weymouth were recently completed. Learn more about the program on the MBLC website and the Building Literacy podcast.

15th Annual Leading by Example Award Winners:

State Agency Awardees:

Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
The Board of Library Commissioners Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program

Public Higher Education Awardees:

Bridgewater State University
Salem State University
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Municipal Awardees:

City of Greenfield
Town of Acton

Public Sector Individual Awardees:

Ed Vitone, member of the Ashburnham Energy Committee
Sean Donaghy, Manager of Energy Programs for MBTA

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.