MARLBOROUGH – For Margaret Cardello, the progress of rebuilding the Marlborough Public Library can be measured by the colors at the construction site.
“It changes color all the time,” said the library director.
As fall turns into winter, the construction crews are preparing to commence work on the interior. That means plenty of yellow insulation materials for the exterior, and blue tarps to cover equipment.
“Everything’s on schedule, and it’s going well,” said Cardello.
Those passing by the project site may notice some gaps at the top of the front entrance. That’s because some terra cotta pieces have been removed. The pieces had been part of the library for over 100 years.
Some pieces will be restored; others will be remade.
“Some of the pieces could have fallen down,” said Cardello. “We want to make them stable for another 100 years.
The project continues to be on time and on budget. Cardello said that while the library is looking at new furniture and shelving, it’s also going to recycle some pieces.
“We still have excellent furniture from 1969. It’s extremely solid,” she said, adding that those pieces will be reupholstered.
“We can’t wait to open,” she added. “Our goal is to create a welcoming space. Space to do so much more.”
The library is scheduled to reopen in spring 2023 – several months after Cardello’s retirement in January.
“It’s best for the library if someone comes in and gets to know the people,” she said.
According to Janice Merk of the Board of Library Trustees, the search for a new director “is going well.” The trustees’ search committee is in the first round of vetting applicants; the goal is to have a new director in place by the time Cardello leaves.
“We got a good director once. We can do it again,” said Merk.
In case a suitable candidate does not appear, Merk said they can rely on the library staff to fill the gap until a director is found.
“The team that’s in place is fabulous,” she said. “We’ll make sure there’s leadership.”
As part of paying for the library project, the MPL Foundation is staging a capital campaign.
The goal is $2 million, which will go toward furniture, equipment, technology and other items not covered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners’ grant for the new library.
The foundation recently received a $300,000 grant through the office of state Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton).
“I am proud that the city of Marlborough, in partnership with Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, moved forward in 2021 to begin construction of a new public library in Marlborough,” said Eldridge. “I’m very happy to pass this $300,000 budget amendment to help support the library having the necessary equipment, furniture and technology to be accessible to all Marlborough residents.”
For information on the foundation, including how to donate and to see the latest information on the project, visit www.marlborough-ma.gov/library/mpl-foundation.