Funding Awarded to Libraries
By WRILEY NELSON
The New York State Education Department announced on August 16 that it would award $34 million in construction and restoration grants to 197 local libraries. The funds are intended to help libraries construct new buildings, update electrical and computer infrastructure, meet energy efficiency standards, im-prove accessibility, and provide meeting spaces.
“Thriving libraries are essential to thriving communities and to the wellbeing of all New Yorkers,” said Betty A. Rosa, commissioner of education and SUNY president. “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.”
“Libraries are a critical part of New York’s educational infrastructure, ensuring that all New Yorkers have equitable access to lifelong learning opportunities,” added Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young. “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.”
Eight libraries in the Four County Library System, covering Otsego, Broome, Chenango and Delaware counties, received grants. Harris Memorial Library in Otego was awarded $112,223.00 to restore its foundation and porch, level the first floor and improve interior accessibility. Edmeston Free Library received $200,329.00 to install an improved kitchen, restore flooring, install a generator and complete extensive interior painting. Worcester-Schenevus Library will construct an outdoor pavilion as a meeting space and event venue with its $11,708.00 grant. Libraries in Norwich, Sidney, Binghamton, Endicott and Whitney Point also received state construction support.