photo of painting "Progressions 1" by Priya Nadkarni Green
Progressions 1, oil on canvas by Springfield artist Priya Nadkarni Green. Purchased by Forbes Library in 2022

Forbes Library was recently awarded a federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant for $7500 from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). “Each community in Massachusetts is unique and has its own local needs,” said Robert Favini, Head of Library Advisory and Development at the MBLC. “These grants allow libraries to address those local needs directly, whether its programming for children and teens, helping residents find a path to citizenship, or protecting the town’s historic documents and artifacts.”

Forbes Library plans to expand access to its art collections, removing barriers to access and engagement for people with and without disabilities or mobility issues, in person or remotely. The Library’s extensive collection of Fine and Decorative Arts – including paintings, sculptures, diorama, photography, clocks, furniture, and other objects of local and regional significance – has been evolving more rapidly in recent years, out of our commitment to inclusive, diverse, and current collection development. The value of these acquisitions depends on them being accessible to users in and out of the library building. By creating accessible large-print labels with audio description of the art works, visitors in the library will be able to engage with the art works successfully. By producing high quality digital photographs of art and objects in the collections, and including them in the online collection management system we will launch in 2023, people anywhere in the world will be able to access them and increase their knowledge and appreciation of these unique works, the people who created them, and the communities they represent.

In addition to the direct library grant program, the MBLC uses LSTA funds to support statewide programs and services including summer reading programs, research databases, the statewide eBook program, the Commonwealth Catalog and which has information and resources for residents. LSTA is administered on the federal level by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in the Commonwealth by the MBLC. More information about LSTA can be found on the Board’s website at

IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Their mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. IMLS’ grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit