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August 16, 2023
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Dora Ricci


State Education Department Announces $34 Million for 197 Public Library Construction Projects Statewide

The New York State Education Department awarded $34 million to 197 public libraries and systems statewide to support construction and renovation projects, Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced today. These funds help libraries construct new buildings, update electrical wiring and computer technology, improve broadband infrastructure, meet energy efficiency standards, renovate facilities to provide greater accessibility, and provide meeting spaces to accommodate community needs.

Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said, “Libraries are a critical part of New York's educational infrastructure, ensuring that all New Yorkers have equitable access to lifelong learning opportunities. This capital investment keeps our public library buildings accessible and vibrant so that they can meet the evolving needs of our communities now and long into the future.”

Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said, “Thriving libraries are essential to thriving communities and to the wellbeing of all New Yorkers. Libraries give individuals the opportunity to learn, collaborate, gain new skills, and become active participants in their communities. This funding is not only critical to improving library infrastructure, but also to enriching the lives of New Yorkers in every region of the state.”

Project activities eligible for awards include financing broadband infrastructure projects, 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; new HVAC systems; windows, doors, and lighting systems; electrical upgrades; and construction of new or replacement of walkways and parking lots, as well as stand-by generators and EV charging stations. New furniture, shelving, and equipment, including computer equipment, can be purchased for new or newly renovated space.

Renovations designed to provide accessibility for patrons with disabilities are a high priority. Priority is also given to projects that will 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 Amount

Capital Region


Central New York


Finger Lakes


Long Island




Mohawk Valley


New York City


North Country


Southern Tier


Western New York



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

NYS Senator Iwen Chu, Chair of the Libraries Committee, said, “With a growing dependency on technology and the Internet for our everyday lives, our NYS Library facilities must have the funding to stay updated with current equipment to fulfill those needs. Upgrades to technology and accessibility are necessary for New Yorkers of all ages to utilize and benefit from their local library. As the Libraries Committee Chair, I’m proud to fight and secure the $34 million investment for our public libraries and systems statewide with my colleagues in the State Senate. With this funding, libraries will continue to be a vital resource for communities throughout New York State."

NYS Assemblymember Carrie Woerner, Chair of the Libraries and Education Technology Committee, said, “Libraries are essential and unique community hubs, providing face-to-face and online services to their patrons for free. They are wonderful gathering places for multiple generations, regardless of socioeconomic status, to come together, under one roof, and access a variety of educational resources. Thanks to this construction funding, new rooftops and other infrastructure improvements will be made without burdening taxpayers. I am especially thankful that a number of libraries in my 113th Assembly District have been awarded funding from the State Educational Department, including the Greenwich Free Library, the Stillwater Public Library and the Southern Adirondack Library System and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to help ensure these integral public institutions, throughout our entire state, will thrive for many future generations 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 project applications with recommended project awards to the New York State Library. After State Library review, applications are then 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 is provided in the 2022-2023 Enacted State Budget. In the recent 2023-2024 State Budget, $34 million was provided for projects that will be announced in Summer of 2024. The deadline to apply for that funding to the New York State Library is October 4, 2023.

The New York State Library is part of the Office of Cultural Education within the New York State Education Department, and celebrated its bicentennial in 2018. The Library serves three major constituencies. The Regent Joseph E. Bowman Jr. Research Library, established by law in 1818, collects, preserves, and makes available materials that support State government work.

The Library's collections, now numbering over 20 million items, may also be used by other researchers onsite, online, and via interlibrary loan. The Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL) lends braille, audiobooks, magazines, and special playback equipment to residents of the 55 upstate counties of New York State who cannot read printed materials because of a visual or physical disability.

The Division of Library Development works in partnership with 72 library systems to bring library services to millions of people who use New York's academic, public, school, and special libraries. Library Development also administers state and federal grant programs that provide aid for library services.

The State Library also offers webinars, events, and onsite genealogy tours. For a complete list of upcoming programs, visit the State Library's website.

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Media Contact

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