Deerfield Celebrates Groundbreaking


May 24, 2024
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director

Local and state officials recently joined Deerfield residents to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Tilton Library. Commissioner Karen Traub from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), Senator Jo Comerford, Representative Natalie Blais, and Koby Gardner-Levine from Congressman Jim McGovern’s office congratulated the community on this major accomplishment. Representative Blais called the library the heartbeat of the community and added, “This library will change the future of the community and provide more opportunity for all community members.”

The MBLC supports the project with a grant of over $4.4 million from its Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP). Satu Zoller, Chair of Tilton Library Trustees and Tilton Building Committee, thanked the MBLC for support and guidance throughout the process and said, “This library is about, by, and for the community. We could not have done it without the great citizens of this town.”

The project will renovate and preserve the original 1916 library, which is the village’s most historic building, and add some much-needed space for the community. The new space will be accessible to all and will feature a separate teen room, more computers and access to new technology, a business center, quiet study rooms and a community meeting room that can be used after hours.  The project also incorporates sustainable green building features which may qualify it for an additional MBLC Green Library Incentive payment of up to $138,052 following completion of construction, if the building attains official LEED certification from the US Green Building Council. The library will anchor the town’s vision of a walkable campus, proposed by former selectboard chair Carolyn Shores Ness as a way to increase the walkability of the community.

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. The MPLCP is currently seeking a new $150 million bond authorization to support upcoming grant rounds.   MPLCP projects are underway in the following communities:  Amherst, Fitchburg, Gloucester, Melrose, Sharon, Shutesbury, and Swansea. 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.