Senator Sean Ryan, Assemblymember Jon Rivera Announce Significant State Funding For Buffalo Library


Isaías González-Soto Branch Library to Receive Nearly $1 Million to Help Fund Major Renovation Project

BUFFALO – Today, October 13, 2022, New York State Senator Sean Ryan and Assemblymember Jon Rivera announced that they have secured nearly $1 million in State funding for the Isaías González-Soto Branch Library on Porter Avenue on Buffalo’s West Side.

The library will receive $996,308 for a renovation project, the fifth-highest total granted among the 223 projects statewide funded by the State Aid for Library Construction Program this year. In addition to the renovation of both floors of the library, upgrades will include the restoration of the branch’s parking lot and sidewalks, new sanitary and storm piping, and improved electrical service.

The funding comes from $34 million in capital funds for State Aid for Library Construction provided in the 2021-22 State Budget. This money has been divided among 223 projects across public libraries and systems throughout New York to support construction and renovation projects. The funds help libraries construct new buildings, create additions, update electrical wiring and computer technology, improve broadband infrastructure, meet energy efficiency standards, renovate facilities to provide full accessibility to library users with disabilities, and provide meeting spaces to accommodate community needs.

Construction funds are allocated to New York State’s 23 public library systems. 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 State Library.

Senator Sean Ryan said, “The Library Construction Aid program helps branches across the state evolve to meet the changing needs of their constituents. I’ve always said that New York’s libraries are one of our greatest public assets, and the Isaías González-Soto Branch Library is an essential resource for many Buffalonians. The upgrades being completed now will help ensure that it will be able to continue to fulfill this important role well into the future.”

Assemblymember Jon D. Rivera said, “When we invest in our libraries, we are investing in our communities. The Isaías González-Soto Branch is my childhood library, so I know and appreciate the significance that this branch exudes on Buffalo’s West Side. It is both a gathering location as well as a space for shared knowledge and learning, and the upgrades that will restore much of the building’s framework will allow its staff and patrons to enjoy its many services for years down the line.

John Spears, Director, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, said, “The Isaías González-Soto Branch Library has been a cornerstone of Buffalo’s West Side for decades, and these funds will allow this branch to continue serving the residents of Buffalo for decades more. The support of officials such as Senator Ryan and Assemblymember Rivera has been vital to our success, and we are truly grateful that they understand the impact libraries can have.”