Friday, November 2, 2012

Moving Down the Line

On October 4, 2012, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) announced they have awarded an additional 8 public libraries their share of construction funds from the original list of 27 libraries in the line-up. This is the second round of grants awarded since July 2011. The Sherborn Library is now number 10 on the waiting list. During the next nine months, this new group of 8 municipal libraries, made up of Reading, Belmont, Edgartown, Salisbury, Framingham McAuliffe Branch, Scituate, Shrewsbury, and Acushnet will work with their communities to gain the local matching funds necessary to move forward with their grants. Webster, Sandwich, Woburn, Eastham, Hopkinton, East Boston, Somerville, Stoughton, Hatfield, Sherborn, and Leicester remain on the waiting list. The communities of Athol, Everett, Granby, South Hadley, West Springfield, and West Tisbury were awarded their local funding match and are now either out to bid or in construction. Officials estimate that Sherborn may receive notification of their funding around the Fall 2014. As the MBLC moves down the list, the Sherborn Library has been working to help make the funding match. The Campaign Steering Committee, made up of members of the Board of Library Trustees, Friends of the Library, and talented citizen volunteers have been working in a quiet phase of fund-raising to build a share of the local match with private donations.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Grant Awarded

On May 3, 2012, the Sherborn Library was awarded $3,633,603 from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners for the renovation and expansion of the Library. The Library has been wait-listed: we are number 18 on the list of 19 eligible libraries. The Sherborn Library Board of Trustees officially announced the launching of the capital campaign to raise $3.5 million over the next 3 years. In December 2011, the Library was awarded a $400,000 challenge grant that will match donors' contributions one-for-one. We anticipate the funds will become available to the Library in 2015. All individuals who have been involved in the planning, research, writing and presentations for our project are enjoying a great sense of accomplishment right now with this achievement.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Another Go

The Library Trustees voted unanimously at their September 2011 meeting to do the necessary work required to revise our grant application and designs for resubmission to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) by their January 2012 deadline. The revised grant, if it meets the MBLC expectations, will place the Library on the waiting list for state construction funds that would cover 50% of the cost of renovating and expanding the Library.

We will learn in June or July of 2012 if our grant made the grade the second time around. Until then, we shall continue to prepare for construction and funding. The state funds are likely to become available to us beginning in 2015. Once our Library makes the waiting list for state funds, the Town has the option to wait until the funds become available to the Library from the state, or proceed to renovate and receive the funds as a state reimbursment.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Joining the Ranks

On Thursday, July 14, Library Trustee Chairwoman Stacey Brandon and I attended the Mass. Board of Library Commissioners' (MBLC) meeting where they announced for the first time the cities and towns which will receive the construction grant awards.

The Sherborn Library did not receive an award in this grant round; rather, we have been asked to review and revise our grant application and designs to the MBLC by January 19, 2012. The independent review committee that scored our overall application found areas they would like us to modify in our plans. We do not yet know what they would like us to modify. However, we were contacted immediately by the MBLC building consultants to make a date with them and our architects to go over the suggested modifications. We are set to do this on July 26.

After we hear what the required changes are that will raise our overall score, we will discuss them locally to ensure they are feasible for Sherborn. We will make any changes that we are able to accomplish, and resubmit the application changes to the MBLC. The MBLC will then rank us on their list of libraries waiting for funding. There are 15 libraries currently on the waiting list. Our goal is to position our grant application to rank us fairly on the list of 15 libraries and reassure our eligibility for the potential $3 million grant award.

While the status is disappointing, it is not unusual for first-time applicants to have to do a bit of tweaking. The library projects on the waiting list will be funded and fulfilled in a future grant round, so while we have that stretch of time ahead of us, we will use that time to refine our plans as necessary, and continue to fund-raise. We want to be ready to move forward when our turn comes around.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


CONGRATULATIONS, SHERBORN for you approval of the preliminary designs to renovate and expand the Library.

That was the loudest YES I ever heard!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Read all about us in The Boston Globe

Thanks to the persistence of the Library's Community Relations Committee, The Boston Globe published a story about the Library renovation project in the April 24, 2011 Sunday Globe West edition. Here is the link to the story:

The print edition placed this prominently on the front page of Globe West. Word seems to have reached many through The Globe, as we are receiving many favorable comments and promises of yes votes.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Article 12 - Annual Town Meeting April 26, 2011

The Sherborn Library Trustees will ask Sherborn voters to approve Article 12 at the April 26, 2011 Town Meeting "to see if the Town will vote to approve the preliminary design for the renovation and expansion of the Sherborn Library, contingent on the receipt of a state grant, or take any action related thereto." The Board of Selectmen voted 3 - 0 in favor of Article 12 and approved the preliminary designs to renovate and expand the Sherborn Library at their March 24 meeting, contingent on the receipt of a state grant that funds 50% of the cost. Further, the Board of Selectmen voted to hold a Special Town Meeting in the fall of 2011 in order to vote to accept or reject the state grant award, which will be announced by the state in July 2011. The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Regulations require that municipalities vote to accept the grant funds within 6 months of the award, as the local determination deadline allows the state to move on to other eligible libraries awaiting a grant. The Advisory Committee then followed suit at the Public Hearing and budget voting session on March 26, with 5 Advisory Committee members voting in favor of the article and 1 against. As the Article is not a request for funding from the Town, the Advisory Committee's approval supports the Library's completion of the grant application. The Article 12 vote of the preliminary designs completes the application requirements to become eligible for a potential award of $3 million from the state to renovate and expand the Library. Article 12 next goes to Town Meeting on April 26. The Trustees, Library Design Study Committee, and project architects will present the preliminary designs to Sherborn voters. There are 32 cities and towns in Massachusetts competing for this award which has been increased to 50% of the total project cost this year from 35% in order to provide more incentive for municipalities to advance their projects in difficult economic times. The funding the state currently has available to support construction projects will fulfill 10 of those 32 project requests. Eligible projects that do not make this grant round's top 10 will be placed on a ranked waiting list until additional funds become available from the state. It is not currently known when the state will have the opportunity to replenish the Public Library Construction funds for a future grant round. Should the Library receive the $3 million grant from the state in this grant round, the Selectmen, Advisory Committee, and Sherborn voters will be asked to re-state their positions for the Library's renovation and expansion at fall 2011 Special Town Meeting by approving the Town's share of $2.5 million. The Library's renovation and expansion project requests funding for the addition of a children's room with a lower level community meeting room for Library programs and Town activities, meets compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act including the installation of an elevator and handicapped restrooms, replaces the 40 year-old heating, venting, and air conditioning systems with more efficient equipment and green design, upgrades the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems to meet current building and energy code, upgrades technology for inclusion in the Minuteman Library Network, and makes capital repairs to the facility such as leaking skylights, glazing, and exterior masonry. On Monday, April 11 at 7:30 pm, the Library Trustees and Design Study Committee will hold their second open forum at the Library and invites the public to attend to view the designs and ask questions about the project to become fully informed for Town Meeting time.