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Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Resource Guide Collection

MPLCP Construction 2016: The Review & Approval Process

Grant Documents

Refer to the following documents and websites throughout the application process.

Grant Review Teams

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MPLCP construction grants are reviewed by teams of at least five independent reviewers. Teams will be made up of library directors, building committee members, public library trustees, and architects with experience in the planning, design, and construction of a public library project.

Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation criteria include:

(a)  The extent to which the schematic design fulfills the requirements of the library building program.

(b)  Documentation of the need for the project, including a description of present conditions and how they negatively impact library services.

(c)  Evidence that the Applicant is able to support the proposed program of library service and that the approved public library project will provide an adequate facility in which to deliver the program.

(d)  Evidence that existing facility conditions are not the result of an inadequate maintenance program, including ongoing problems related to building security, patron and staff safety, appearance, site conditions, and building mechanical and structural elements.

(e)  Compliance with the guidelines outlined in the Program Notice.

(f)  Notes and explanations for special conditions pertaining to the project or the municipality, especially variations between the schematic design and the library building program.

(g)  The extent to which planning for the project is based upon the library's long‑range plan and has involved the efforts of and input from library staff, library trustees, library users, and other community representatives.

(h)  The extent to which the resulting facility is efficient and secure, logically organized, and easy to use from a patron's point of view.

(i)  The extent to which the resulting facility allows for efficient use of staffing resources.

(j)  The extent to which design decisions show evidence of interior flexibility to adapt to changing service needs and future expansion as appropriate.

(k)  The extent to which the design incorporates sustainable features based on the most current version of LEED prerequisites as to sustainable site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality. Evidence of planning and budgeting for green building components, systems, and materials will be evaluated.

What the regulations say

Regarding the evaluation of construction grants, state regulations 605 CMR 6.07 state:

  • Applications must be complete, on forms prescribed by the Board, and must meet the application submittal requirements.
  • Applications for construction grants are reviewed and ranked by at least five independent reviewers. Each general construction project Applicant will receive a site visit by a review team member.
  • All evaluative information and data from this review process shall be tabulated and summarized by Board staff and shall be utilized by the Director in making final recommendations to the Board. In making recommendations for grants, the Director will consider the following:
    • The results of the application review.
    • The distribution by community size of projects recommended for funding in relation to the distribution by community size of all projects reviewed for this application round.
    • Priority will be given to Joint Public Library projects.
    • The availability of funds.