Westborough – The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) voted June 5 to award the Westborough Public Library a provisional Construction Planning and Design Grant totaling $45,895. The grant is part of the MBLC's state-funded Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP).
“We'se grateful to the Governor and the Legislature for their recognition that libraries are a vital part of our communities,” said MBLC Chair Frank Murphy.
The MPLCP helps libraries across the state meet the growing demand for library services with expanded and improved library facilities.
“We have been working hard to modernize our library, and this grant will help us become a true 21st-century library,” said Library Director Maureen Ambrosino. “We are so thankful for the support from the MBLC and our community.”
Twenty-eight library applications went through a rigorous independent grant review process. Libraries were selected based on many factors including community need, an understanding of future trends in library services, integration with the library's long-range plan, support from local officials and a plan for community input.
Planning and design grants may be used for preparation of a library building program, architectural feasibility studies, engineering analysis of an existing building or alternative sites, schematic design, cost analysis of options, site investigation, and project management services. Grants are capped at $50,000 or two-thirds of the eligible project costs and require local match funding of up to $25,000. Libraries must secure this local match by January 31, 2015, to accept their grant funding. These grants and the support provided by MBLC Library Building Specialists benefit libraries that anticipate applying for Construction Grants from the MPLCP in the future.
In 2011, the Westborough Public Library hired a library space consultant to conduct a needs assessment and facility review in order to begin planning for the future. The findings, after two months of study and interaction with the library staff and board, revealed that the current building as it is configured can no longer effectively accommodate the services, wishes, and needs of the community.
The Library Board of Trustees will use the grant funds to determine the best course of action for improving the library, given the current economic and political climate in Westborough.