MPLCP Background & Regulations

The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) was first funded by a state bond authorization in 1987. Since then, the MPLCP has helped build 62 new library buildings and 165 addition, renovation, and conversion projects. The MPLCP has also awarded 99 planning and design grants to support public libraries as they prepared to apply for a construction grant.

The MPLCP is governed by state regulation 605 CMR 6.00 [link to pdf] and has been continuously funded through capital bond bills authorized by the Governor and the Legislature. Two types of grants, for planning and design and for construction and renovation/expansion projects are available to eligible municipalities.

Eligibility

To be eligible for an MPLCP grant, applicant libraries must be certified by the MBLC as meeting minimum state standards for public library service and must have a long-range plan on file with the Board. Any project funded under the program must meet the projected 20-year needs of the applicant's municipality for library service. Proposals for new buildings and addition/renovations must be based upon a library building program that has been written prior to retaining an architect. Applicants must have local approval to apply for, accept, and expend grant funds as well as approval for the proposed preliminary design.

Regulations

Regulations 605 CMR 6.00 [pdf] governing the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) were last completely reviewed in 2010 with minor revisions done in 2012, 2013, and 2015.

In 2022, pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 30A, and Chapter 78, Sections 19A and 19B, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners will conduct Public Hearings relative to amending regulation 605 CMR Library Improvement Program – Public Library Construction. The proposed amendments reflect streamlined processes and requirements for construction grants. 

Virtual public hearings regarding the proposed change will be held:

A hybrid hearing will be held:

Persons planning to give oral testimony at the hearings are urged to provide written summary in electronic form.  Please submit oral testimony, electronic summaries and all written comments up until 4 p.m. on October 31, 2022, by mail, e-mail or fax to the address below:

James Lonergan, Director
Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
90 Canal Street, Suite 500
Boston, MA 02114
1(617)725-1860 / 1(800)952-7403
FAX 1(617)725-0140
james.lonergan@mass.gov

Copies of the proposed amended regulations are available to download in pdf or by contacting Rachel Masse, Assistant to the Director, at the above address and telephone number or at rachel.masse@mass.gov.

By order of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners