Stoughton Public Library Expansion Project Added to State’s Waiting List

Stoughton is now on the waiting list to receive state funding for a planned library expansion project that would nearly double the size of the current facility which opened in 1969.

The following is adapted from a press release from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners:

Don’t expect to see construction equipment at the anytime soon, but Thursday marked an important step in the of its current Park St. facility.

At its May, 3, 2012 Board Meeting at the newly dedicated Walpole Public Library, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) approved the addition of library construction projects in Somerville, Stoughton, Hatfield, Sherborn and Leicester to the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) Waiting List. 

The libraries are part of the 2010- 2011 MPLCP Grant Round in which fifteen libraries were placed on the Waiting List and eight communities received provisional construction grants.

“Because we know first-hand the difference libraries make in the lives of all our residents, we are pleased to add these communities to our Waiting List.  As Commissioners our efforts to secure funding for these projects continue,” MBLC Chair Katherine Dibble said in a press release.

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.

While libraries that received a provisional MPLCP grant are guaranteed funding, funding for Waiting List libraries depends on several factors including the state’s five year capitol plan and whether libraries that have provisional grants are able to secure local match funding and move forward with a project.

Provisional grant recipients that have secured local funding are Athol, South Hadley, Granby, West Tisbury and Everett. The communities of West Springfield, Grafton and Shutesbury have until June 30, 2012 to secure local support or request an extension from the MBLC.

The good news for Stoughton is that the Stoughton Public Library has already secured local funding with , which overwhelmingly supported the expansion project and the funding for it.

Stoughton, the 16th town on the waiting list, is slated to receive a grant award of $6,702,689 from the MPLCP, with the town of Stoughton agreeing to match those funds, a voted at the May 11 session of the 2011 Town Meeting.

The Stoughton Public Library, built in 1969, is 22,000 square feet. The planned expansion, which is estimated to cost about $14 million, would modernize the library, make it handicapped accessible and almost double its current size to 39,000 square feet.

“It’s a process that’s going to take a while,” Josh Olshin, the Reference/Adult Services Librarian said. “[But] bottom line we’re happy. We got approved and we’ll let the process unfold.”


Waiting List







Reading Public Library




Belmont Public Library




Edgartown Free Public Library




Salisbury Public Library




Framingham Public Library - McAuliffe Branch




Scituate Town Library




Shrewsbury Free Public Library




Russell Memorial Library




Chester C. Corbin Public Library




Sandwich Public Library




Woburn Public Library




Eastham Public Library




Hopkinton Public Library




Boston Public Library - East Boston Branch




Somerville Public Library




Stoughton Public Library




Hatfield Public Library




Sherborn Public Library




Leicester Public Library






DarkKnight May 05, 2012 at 11:32 AM
The library is going the way of book stores. In 10 years no one will use them. This is a nice project but we need to be forward thinking. The proliferation of digital media is here and the 40 and below crowd will never use the library. There are other places to use this money, schools etc
Sarah May 05, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Libraries continue to be a vital part of communities and have evolved to include digital media as well. Did you know that you can "borrow" ebooks from the library, to read on e-readers free of charge. I am under 40 and go to the library at least twice a week, with my children and on my own. I use it as an office space and I borrow books to read (saves a lot of $ by not purchasing my own- either real or ebooks). My family takes advantage of the museum passes, children's programs, and as a space to play and read. There are young people at the library every time I go. I agree that there are many other places that need money, and I have a hard time understanding why the building of one (not very large) building needs to cost 14 million dollars, but I think a quality, up to date, library is an important part of a community.
DarkKnight May 06, 2012 at 10:29 AM
Yes you are making my point. I am aware you can borrow ebooks so over time we won't need the paper versions nor will people want them. You could get the museum passes from town hall. I don't think we need a library as a place for your children to go play or for your office... Take the money and build a community center for the children they can play there. Im not saying that library's don't have a place today. I'm saying we need to think ahead 10 to 15 years I think most all media content will be digital. I think we maintain the existing facility and put the money to better use in the community. There is nothing wrong with the library now. It is a little small and parking can be a challenge but it doesn't need 14 million poured into it.
Kym May 06, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Libraries are a vital part of the community - no matter how you read books. I disagree that all media content will be digital. More and more people have screen "burn-out" and prefer real books. The better the library, the better the community.


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