Our Library – Our Future…
The Campaign for the Shrewsbury Public Library is led by a committed group of community volunteers, representing all of Shrewsbury. We bring together a collective energy and expertise for the benefit of the future of our library. The group endeavors to conduct a multi-level campaign of education and fundraising to support the renovation and expansion of the library. Through these efforts the people of the Town of Shrewsbury will strengthen the enduring values of our community library, acknowledge its rich legacy and ensure its prominent place in our town’s history now and for generations to come.
Town Notified that $7,959,989 Massachusetts Public Library Construction Grant Available for Public Library Project
The Shrewsbury Public Library is the recipient of a General Construction Provisional Grant totaling $7,959,989 from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). The grant is part of the MBLC’s 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. The Shrewsbury Library was approved for this grant back in 2008 and placed on a waiting list with other communities, until such time that state bonding authority allowed the release of funds to those on the waiting list. This means that, upon local approval, the Shrewsbury Library is eligible to receive grant fund this current fiscal year. The letter notifying the community can be found at http://www.shrewsbury-ma.gov/egov/docs/1350052964_5249.pdf
“Public libraries are a valuable resource for cities, towns and residents across the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “These grants, and others before it, will assist municipalities with construction of top-notch, environmentally-conscious facilities that will serve residents for many years to come.”
“We’re fortunate that the Patrick-Murray Administration and the Legislature understand the importance of libraries” said MBLC Chair Frank Murphy. “The success of this program and our ability to award grants that have such a significant local community impact come from working collaboratively with Governor Patrick’s office and local community leaders,” he added.
Over the past ten years, in-person visits to the Commonwealth’s public libraries have increased by 50% with close to 40 million visits to libraries and 58 million items borrowed last year alone. See Massachusetts library usage video at facebook.com/mblcma. Library Director Ellen Dolan reports similar growth in Shrewsbury. In the past decade, loans from the Shrewsbury Public library have increased by 73%. She noted that there were over a quarter of a million visits to the Shrewsbury library last year alone.
The grant from the MBLC is roughly 50% of the total eligible project costs. The library will also be eligible for additional state funding through the MBLC’s Green Library Incentive Program, a program created by the MBLC in 2008 to encourage sustainable energy-efficient public library construction.
The Shrewsbury project will provide a modern facility designed to meet the needs of the community for many years to come, while preserving and highlighting the architectural features of the beloved 1903 Jubal Howe Building. The project will address more than $6 million in needed capital repairs; provide full handicap accessibility throughout the building, while offering enhanced technology access and services, and more appropriate space for library users of all ages.
Provisional grants were also awarded to libraries in Reading, Belmont, Edgartown, Salisbury Framingham, Scituate and Acushnet. Eleven projects remain on a waiting list for funding. MPLCP grants are made possible through a collaborative process among the MBLC, the Governor’s office and local community leaders. For full waiting list, please visit mass.gov/mblc.
Funding for the MPLCP was authorized by Governor Deval Patrick and the Legislature in the General Governmental Needs Bond Bill, signed by the Governor on August 11, 2008. The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program was first funded in 1987. Since then the program has assisted nearly two hundred communities in building new libraries or in renovating and expanding existing libraries. For more information about the MBLC’s Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program please visit the MBLC’s website at mass.gov/mblc.
“I was proud to get my own books by the time I was in second grade. I felt the library was special. I like to read a lot,”
Did you know…
In the year 2012, The Shrewsbury Library:
- Welcomed 254,162 visitors
- Loaned 462,142 books, magazines, movies, video games & more to library patrons
- Borrowed 39,465 items from other libraries through the inter-library loan system
- Hosted 538 adults, teen and children’s programs with 13,485 people in attendance
- Allowed patrons 16,810 Internet sessions
- Delivered 5,683 items via our outreach service
Library Renovation to Undergo More Design Work
In October 2012, Shrewsbury Town Meeting voters approved $50,000 for redesign of the library.
Although Shrewsbury residents voted down plans for the library renovation last year, the Board of Library Trustees has taken the feedback and is working on a revamped plan for the library renovation.
According to Laurie Hogan, chairman of the library trustees, the new plan will be for a building that is 10 percent smaller than their last plan. Other feedback was considered and will be reviewed during the upcoming review process. Hogan said the $50,000 transfer that was proposed as ?article 14 at last night’s town meeting would help fund the design changes and adjustments.
The article was added to the Special Town Meeting Warrant after the town received word that a $7.9 million grant would be given to the town in fiscal year 2014 pending local funding. The $50,000 was taken from repair money that had been set aside to deal with improvements to the air quality in the current building. However, the early grant will allow the town will forgo that work. The rest of the $250,000 that was approved will be used for other necessary repairs.
According to Hogan the new design work is expected to be completed in early 2013. Ultimately residents will be asked to approve the project by the town meeting members and vote on it in a special election to be determined by the Board of Selectmen.
When the Shrewsbury Public Library completes its proposed renovation, children will have a wonderful new space to read, play and learn thanks in part to a local resident and her family-owned law practice. Read more >