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Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Resource Guide Collection

Managing Your Construction Grant (2016-2017 Round): The Library Director's Role

It's a big job

A new or renovated library building is a massive undertaking. In most cases, the Library Director is the chief orchestrator of the project from conception to ribbon cutting and beyond (no building is ever finished). Many of the day-to-day responsibilities for library operations will have to be delegated to others when needed, especially during construction. If there is an Assistant Director, they often take on some of this work. If not, another senior staff person can step in. In a very small library, it may be necessary for a part-time Director to work more hours than usual or to hire temporary staff.

It's essential that the Library Director be positioned as the expert on library matters - how the building is designed for functionality, efficiency, workflows, etc. MBLC Library Building Specialists can help with this, but the Director is the one who knows the library and the community best.

The Library Director is also the public face of the project, coordinating communication with the media and community stakeholders.

Additional responsibilities during a library building project

The Library Director is the liaison between the MBLC and the library/municipality for the entire project. You are the crucial nexus point between the Building Committee/Library Trustees, municipal staff and elected officials, the architect, the OPM, and the MBLC.

Your tasks:

  • Work with the various stakeholders
    • Municipal staff & elected officials
    • Library Trustees
    • Building committee/subcommittees
    • OPM
    • Architects
    • Consultants
    • MBLC
    • Library staff
    • Library patrons
    • Press & social media
  • Monitor project progress
    • Attend all design discussions & reviews
      • Coordinate input from multiple sources
    • Attend all OAC (owner/architect/construction company) meetings during construction
  • Coordinate or administer a committee for events
    • Community meetings
    • Groundbreaking
    • Topping Off (if applicable)
    • Soft Opening (if applicable)
    • Ribbon Cutting/Dedication
  • Anticipate & manage change
    • Policies & procedures for the new building
    • Work with staff, unions (if applicable), and the municipality on staffing levels and role definition/reorganization
  • Manage grant procedures & requirements
    • Amplifund* administration
    • Monthly reporting, including director activities
    • Design updates and reviews
    • Payment documentation & requests
    • Final report
  • Be available at all times

*Amplifund is the online grant management tool that the MBLC uses to aggregate data and track progress and payments for each project from the letter of intent/application stage through construction completion and final reporting

Contact Us

Need more information or help along the way?

Andrea Bono-Bunker
Library Building Specialist
617-725-1860, x246