MBLC Update on the proposed new building plans for the Library
From Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library
Date: July 13, 2017
Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library Wait-listed for Library Construction Grant
NEEDHAM – July 13, 2017 – The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) voted to place the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library on a wait-list for a Provisional Construction Grant. The grant is part of the state-funded Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) which helps libraries across the state meet the growing demand for library services with expanded and improved library facilities. Attendance at public library programs has increased 49% since 2006 and every 5.5 seconds a Massachusetts resident accesses the Internet through a public library.
Thirty-three libraries completed the grant round process. Through a rigorous review, nine libraries were identified to receive grants and twenty-four were placed on a wait-list. Wait-listed libraries will receive construction grants as the funding becomes available either through the existing bond bill or a future bond authorization.
“This is a very good result for us,” said Katherine Prum, Vice-President of the Board of Trustees. “It gives us the gift of time, a number of years in which to build community support, raise funds, conduct a strategic planning process, answer the questions regarding renovation vs new construction, and address concerns about the historic buildings, amphitheater, and gardens.”
“Our residents support the library and are using it more than ever. Obviously we would have preferred to be one of the nine initial recipients, but it was a highly competitive grant round. We’re proud to have completed the process and we’ll be ready when the funding becomes available for our library,” said John Brennan, President of the Board of Trustees.
The proposed project would centralize all the library facilities in a single building, and reassert the library’s role at the center of the city’s culture and learning.
Funding for the MPLCP is authorized by the governor and the legislature. Funding for this grant round is part of the general governmental needs bond bill filed in March, 2013 which included $150 million for the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program. This funding was also used to award construction grants to 11 communities that had been on a wait-list for several years and will be used to support a future Planning and Design grant round.
The MPLCP was first funded in 1987. Since then, the program has assisted hundreds of communities in building new libraries or in renovating and expanding existing libraries. For more information about the program, please visit the MBLC’s website.http://mblc.state.ma.us/