Legislation Boosts Funding for Libraries in Economically Distressed Communities [The Chronicle-Express]

October 29, 2019

Originally published in The Chronicle-Express on October 29, 2019.

Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, “Public libraries are an essential centerpiece providing critical services in our communities. Before serving in the State Legislature, I served as a Library Trustee, and I have been a strong advocate for ensuring libraries have the resources they need to help communities thrive. This bill, S.5589, provides for state aid for up to 90% of approved project costs for capital improvements and construction for libraries in economically distressed areas. Thank you to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing this bill into law and investing in our public libraries.”

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently signed legislation providing State funding for up to 90 percent of the total project approved costs for construction of public libraries in economically distressed communities.

Additionally, this bill establishes new eligibility requirements for any project receiving state funding for 75 percent or greater of the total project costs.

“Libraries are cornerstones of any community and great equalizers that provide resources and access to information to all New Yorkers, no matter who they are, where they come from, or how rich or poor they are,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this new law, we strengthen our library system, focusing our resources on those who need it most and creating a stronger and more equal Empire State for all.”

The State’s public library construction grant program provides matching funds for approved costs of acquisition, construction, renovation or rehabilitation of public library buildings, including broadband installation. Previously, this program allowed for a state funding match for up to 75 percent of the total project costs for public libraries located in an economically disadvantaged community.