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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 18, 2022
For More Information Contact:

JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201

www.nysed.gov

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State Education Department Announces $34 Million for 223 Public Library Construction Projects Statewide

The State Education Department awarded $34 million to 223 public libraries and systems statewide to support construction and renovation projects, Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced today. These funds help libraries construct new buildings, create additions, update electrical wiring and computer technology, improve broadband infrastructure, meet energy-efficiency standards, and renovate facilities to provide full accessibility to library users with disabilities and create meeting spaces to accommodate community needs.

“Libraries play an integral role in strengthening and connecting our communities by providing access to beneficial, insightful, and accurate information,” Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said. “Financial support of these important institutions improves the overall quality of life for all New Yorkers who use our library facilities. As an essential resource, these infrastructure investments will vastly expand our ability to support underserved populations and those living in geographically isolated communities through increased digital access, enhanced accessibility services, and other vital resources.”

“Libraries have a profound impact on the lives of their patrons by empowering them to fully participate in society in various ways, whether it is to pursue employment, self-education, accessing technology or making social connections,” Commissioner Rosa said. “These funds will not only help to improve infrastructure but will also ensure that critical resources, materials, and services continue to be available to meet the needs of individuals and communities throughout our state to help them thrive.”

Project activities eligible for awards include financing broadband infrastructure, construction of new library buildings, construction of additions to existing buildings, and the renovation or rehabilitation of existing space. The projects can include roof replacement; the purchase and installation of alternative energy sources, HVAC systems, windows, doors, and lighting systems; electrical upgrades; and construction of new or replacement walkways, parking lots, standby generators, and EV charging stations. In addition, new furniture, shelving, and equipment, including computer equipment, can be purchased for new or newly renovated spaces.

Priority is also given to renovations designed to provide accessibility for patrons with disabilities, and projects to extend library services to people residing in geographically isolated and economically disadvantaged and distressed communities.

Awards by region are below:

Awards By Region
Region Total Award
   

Capital Region

$1,817,192

Central New York

$2,079,775

Finger Lakes

$3,033,705

Long Island

$4,638,041

Mid-Hudson

$4,338,614

Mohawk Valley

$1,532,942

New York City

$10,382,879

North Country

$1,168,021

Southern Tier

$1,589,596

Western New York

$3,419,235

 

 

TOTAL

$34,000,000

 

A complete list of funded projects is available on the State Library’s website. 

Senate Libraries Committee Chair Sean M. Ryan said, “I’ve always said that New York’s libraries are one of our greatest public assets, and that is why we worked so hard to secure $34 million in funding to library construction projects for the second consecutive year in this year’s budget. By funding critical upgrades – like improved accessibility and upgraded technology – this investment will help libraries throughout the state continue to fulfill the vital role they already play in their communities.”

Assembly Libraries and Education Technology Committee Chair Kimberly Jean-Pierre said,New York’s library construction program is a vital resource that allows our public libraries to make needed upgrades to their facilities without an additional burden on local taxpayers. As Chair of the Libraries and Education Technology Committee, I am thankful to my legislative colleagues for working with me this year to increase New York’s investment in the library construction program by $20 million, which will yield real, tangible results for our local communities. I am especially pleased that four local libraries which serve my constituents in the 11th Assembly District have been awarded funding, including the Copiague Memorial Public Library, Lindenhurst Memorial Library, West Babylon Public Library, and Half Hollow Hills Community Library. I thank Commissioner Rosa and the entire Department of Education for providing these critical funds to so many deserving libraries across our state, and I look forward to continuing our great work to continue funding this program for years to come.”

Construction funds are allocated to New York State’s 23 public library systems based on formulas in Education Law. Member libraries apply for the State funds allocated to their public library system. Each library system’s governing Board of Trustees then prioritizes the projects and sends approved applications with recommended project awards to the State Library. After State Library review, applications are sent to the Dormitory Authority of New York State for final review and approval.

The $34 million in capital funds for State Aid for Library Construction are provided in the 2021-2022 Enacted State Budget. In the 2022-2023 State Budget, $34 million was provided for projects that will be announced in fall 2023. 

Media Contact

Reporters and education writers may contact the Office of Communications by phone at:

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