The Dighton Public Library is pleased to announce it received a provisional grant through the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program’s (MPLCP) 2016 – 2017 Construction Grant Application Round. This grant is to help fund the addition and renovation of the current Carnegie library, located at 395 Main Street. Dighton’s grant award is in the amount of $4,099,212, which represents more than half of the estimated total project costs.
Dighton was placed in the #21 slot on the waiting list, along with 24 other libraries. Waitlisted libraries will receive construction grants as funding becomes available either through the existing bond bill or a future bond authorization. When funds become available to the MPLCP through the state’s capital budget, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC), who oversees the MPLCP, will notify Dighton that the provisional grant award is available to the town. This award is dependent upon the Dighton Public Library’s securing the local share of the project costs.
The grants are part of the Baker-Polito Adminstration’s commitment to ensuring that all the residents of the Commonwealth have equal access to information, technology, resources and programming. “The Commonwealth’s local public libraries provide individuals of all ages with invaluable resources that they otherwise might not be able to access,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is pleased to once again support this important grant program that invests in cities and towns across the Commonwealth.”
This project will bring all of the Dighton Public Library’s youth services to the second, new floor, along with a small Local History room that would double as a Conference Room. The first floor will incorporate the existing Carnegie library, respecting historical elements of the current building while creating patron spaces that will grow with the collection, program and technology needs. A program room will provide after-hours access. The existing basement will remain as storage space and for mechanical rooms. Lastly, the updated library will be fully ADA and code compliant.
“It was clear from community feedback and comments that there is a strong attachment to the current library, ” said Jocelyn Tavares, Library Director. Ron O’Connor, Chair of the Dighton Public Library Board of Trustees added, “We heard overwhelming support for keeping the current location and maintaining important elements of the Carnegie library that Dighton residents cherish as a community treasure. We are pleased that the architects were able to design a 21st century library with the historic early 20th century elements that we love in our present library.”
“We’re sometimes asked whether libraries are still necessary in this digital age,” said MBLC Chair Mary Ann Cluggish. “The answer is an overwhelming ‘yes’. Libraries are busier than ever assisting residents with job searches or business start-ups, teaching residents to use new technology or simply providing the only free space where everyone in the community can continue their education. This important work would not be possible without the support of Governor Baker and the Legislature.”
Other SAILS libraries that have either received their provisional funding or have been placed on the waitlist are the North Dartmouth Branch library, East Bridgewater, Seekonk and Swansea. For more information, please contact Jocelyn Tavares at 508-669-6421.