Building, fundraising continues for Marlborough library

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Building, fundraising continues for Marlborough library
Part of the new addition at the Marlborough Public Library. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

MARLBOROUGH – As the library builds, so does the anticipation.

The Marlborough Public Library’s expansion project continues to be on time and on budget, with an opening slated for sometime this summer.

“We’ve had a combination of luck and good management,” said Janice Merk, a member of the library’s Board of Trustees and the MPL Foundation.

An exact date for opening – and an exact date for closing the library’s temporary space at the Walker Building – will be announced once those are determined, said Library Director Sara Belisle.

“We’re confident we’ll open this summer,” she said.

Building, fundraising continues for Marlborough library
Sara Belisle, left, and Janice Merk show the latest fundraising campaign by the Marlborough Public Library Foundation. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

Library Champions project

Merk reported that the foundation has raised $1.5 million in pledges toward its goal of $2 million.

“We’re thrilled with the response,” she said. “To me, it illustrates how important the library is.”

Recently, the foundation launched its Library Champions project – 1,000 residents, businesses and organizations to donate $1,000 each.

The library will honor all donors with a Marlborough Public Library champions donor wall in the new building; the first 200 donors will be recognized with an individual name plate on a shelf.

Merk said the funds from this project will help cover the costs of the new technology to be installed at the library.

This includes having meeting and study rooms equipped with Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
The new technology will also enable litigants to take part in virtual court hearings. This program is in partnership with the state’s Access for Justice program.

In addition, the funds from the project will help purchase furniture and provide funding for future programs, said Merk.

“[The fund] positions us to support the library going forward,” she added.

Building, fundraising continues for Marlborough library
A mild winter and no supply issues have helped the Marlborough Public Library project stay on schedule and on budget. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

Heading down the homestretch

Thanks to a combination of a mild winter and no issues with supplies, the library’s expansion has become something to see.

On one side of the main entrance closest to Pleasant Street, windows offer a peek into the new adult services area on the first floor. This will include meeting rooms, periodical and local history rooms, along with a young adult area.

On the second floor is the children’s area; it also includes a meeting room, study rooms and a place to park strollers.

According to Belisle, the library will have 30 PCs and 10 laptops for patron use, along with the “library of things” – items such as tools and small appliances that may be borrowed.
Both Belisle and Merk said that staff and patrons can’t wait for the new library to open.

“Sara’s doing a phenomenal job” handling the myriad details about the project, said Merk. “We’re happy with how she’s managing it,” she added.

For information about the foundation and how to donate, visit https://www.marlborough-ma.gov/library/mpl-foundation.

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