Library Construction Cap Increased


May 09, 2022
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

Included in the recently released Baker-Polito Administration’s FY2023 Capital Investment Plan is an increase in the annual cap for the Massachusetts Board of library Commissioner’s (MBLC) Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP). In the plan the program’s annual cap, which is the amount of funding the MPLCP can spend each year, is increased from $20 million to $24 million. MPLCP grants  provide crucial funding to assist libraries in the renovation and expansion of existing buildings or the construction of new facilities so that they can meet growing demand for services.

“This is great news, especially for libraries that are waitlisted for funding,” said James Lonergan, Director of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. We thank the library community for working with us, legislators and representatives from the Executive Office of Administration and Finance to secure this increase for a program that improves access and benefits all residents. The Baker-Polito administration and the legislature’s continued support of the MPLCP is greatly appreciated. The program is a national model and has had a positive impact on our local communities for over 30 years.”

The effect of the annual cap increase will be felt immediately in the reduction of the number of libraries that have been on a waitlist for funding since the MPLCP’s last grant round in July 2017. In July 2022, half of the 14 waitlisted libraries will be awarded provisional grant awards. The ability for the MBLC to move through the rest of the waitlist is dependent on several factors: the size of the provisional awards offered in a given year, whether waitlisted libraries that are awarded a provisional grant award are able to appropriate the required local funding, and the number of underway projects that receive their final payments.

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 expand their public libraries. MPLCP projects are currently underway in the following communities: Amherst, Greenfield, Marlborough, Melrose, Sharon, and Sherborn. Projects in Erving, Grafton, Hadley, Littleton, Medford, Norwell, and Roxbury were recently completed. Learn more about the program on the MBLC website and the Building Literacy podcast.

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.