Thursday, November 18, 2010
Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Public Library Construction Program Hits the Great Recession Wall
Link to November 18 Boston Globe article, "State’s grants elude libraries. Communities find matching funds are casualties of recession economy".
Excerpt: The same story played out in towns and cities across the state, which planned new library buildings and expansions in flusher times. By 2008, when the state had awarded 31 communities grants worth about $97 million, the economy was starting to crumble. So far, only 11 of those projects have been built. Three other towns — Boxford, Dighton, and Woburn — are still trying to get local approval to raise their share, about 70 percent of the total cost. The bulk of the communities — 17 towns and cities that had been awarded a total of about $58 million — couldn’t come up with their portion of the cost and had to turn down the state money.
The article notes a 50% increase in the number of annual visits (33,945,352 this year/latest fiscal year?) to Massachusetts public libraries during the past decade. During the same period, weekly Internet sessions have increased 129%, to 160,515.