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Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Resource Guide Collection

2023-2024 Grant Round: Planning & Design Phase: Background

What is an MPLCP Grant?

A Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) Grant is a state grant administered by the Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) and regulated under 605 CMR 6.00.

The purpose of the grant is to provide financial support to municipalities for the improvement of library facilities. While one application is submitted, the grants are administered in two phases: the Planning and Design Phase and the Construction Phase. Municipal votes for approval of support and local funding are required prior to a project moving forward into each phase.

The Planning and Design Phase funding is for activities related to the planning and designing of new, renovated, or expanded public library facilities in advance of a whole building project. 

The Construction Phase funding is for the completion of design documents and the constructing of an improved library facility through new construction, renovation/addition, or conversion/addition. This funding is not intended to provide assistance for activities such as repair, maintenance, or partial building improvements.


What is the MBLC?

Established in 1890, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) is a state agency that supports, improves and promotes library services throughout the Commonwealth.

For information about the full range of Board activities, please see their website at

What is the MPLCP?

The Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program provides financial and technical assistance to municipalities for planning, design, improvement and expansion of their public library facilities. State regulations 605 CMR 6.00 govern the program.

The MPLCP was first funded by a state bond authorization in 1987. The program awards grants for planning, design, and construction to support public libraries. Between 1987 and 2022, the MPLCP helped build 63 new library buildings and 172 addition, renovation, and conversion projects.