The New York State Education Department has awarded $34 million to 223 public libraries and systems statewide to support construction and renovation projects.
These funds are expected to 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.
Project activities eligible for awards included 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 was 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.
A complete list of funded projects is available on the State Library’s website.
Construction funds were 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.
Photo of New York State Library.