Construction Grants

Construction grants help pay for major capital improvement projects, including constructing a new public library, expanding and renovating an existing library building, or adapting and reusing another building for use as a library.

The most recent construction grant round was held in 2016-17, with nine provisional grant awards made and 24 towns placed on a waiting list by the Commissioners in July 2017.


In order to be eligible for a grant, applicant libraries must:

  • be a free public library located in Massachusetts
  • be certified by the MBLC as meeting the minimum state standards for public library service
  • have a current long-range plan and annual action plan on file at the MBLC
  • comply with all application requirements as stated in 605 CMR 6.00

What do grants cover?

MPLCP construction grant funds pay for an average of 45%-50% (see funding formula) of eligible costs as defined in 605 CMR 6.00. These include:

  • purchase of land
  • design and engineering services
  • project management services
  • site preparation
  • installation of utilities
  • construction
  • fixed capital equipment

Grant funds do not pay for furniture, computers, landscaping, paving, and other ineligible costs as defined in 605 CMR 6.00.

Frequency of grant rounds

Construction grants are offered on an irregular basis, based on a number of factors, including state bond authorizations and the availability of funds through our annual capital budget.

Funding formula and schedule

Green Library Incentive

If authorized, projects that plan for and achieve LEED certification will receive an additional 2%-3.5% of their grant amount, based on the level of LEED attained. The minimum Green Library Incentive is $100,000 and the maximum is $500,000.

For More Information

Heather Backman, Library Building Specialist
617-725-1860, x245
857-283-5668 (Mobile)

Andrea Bono-Bunker, Library Building Consultant
617-725-1860, x246
857-488-6264 (Mobile)