Senator Young Announces Funding for Local Libraries

Catharine Young

July 21, 2014

For Release: Immediate, July 21, 2014

Every library in district set to receive grant funding secured in 2014-15 legislative session

ALBANY - The public library often serves as the heart and center of a community, and with schools out for the summer, more children will be in and out of our community libraries every day.

 To ensure our libraries are ready and able to meet the needs and expectations of patrons, Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I-Olean) is glad to announce that every public library in her district will be receiving additional grant funding this year.

Each of the 59 public libraries in Senator Young’s district will receive a $2,700 grant as a result of funding secured in this year’s state budget. The funds will support valuable library initiatives and help meet basic operational expenses. In addition, several libraries have been awarded construction grants designated towards specific vital projects.

“Today’s libraries serve an invaluable role in our communities. They host after-school and summer programs for students, provide a forum for educational public events, and provide online access and other valuable resources to job seekers. Our libraries provide opportunities for both young people and adults to further their education, job seekers to find work, and children to have a safe and productive place for learning,” said Senator Young.

“When it was proposed that library aid be cut by $4 million in this year’s state budget, I knew how detrimental this decrease would be for libraries. The Senate coalition successfully restored the cut with a $5 million increase, bringing total library aid statewide to $86.6 million,” said Senator Young.

In addition to the $86.6 million of statewide funding and the $2,700 grants each library in Senator Young’s district will be receiving, eight libraries will receive construction funding through a $14 million capital fund appropriation secured in the 2013-14 state budget last year. This funding through the Public Library Construction Grant Program will help libraries accommodate users with disabilities, provide up-to-date infrastructure for computer and Internet access, and allow greater room for collections and meeting space.

Because more than 48 percent of the over 1,000 public library buildings in New York State are over 60 years old, and another 30 percent are at least three decades old, structural improvements are vital to their continued use.

The construction funding will be designated to the following libraries in Senator Young’s district:

  • Colonial Library in Richburg (Allegany County) - $11,747
    • External wall and foundation work. Replacement of beams and fire escape.
  • Essential Club Free Library in Canaseraga (Allegany County) - $2,800
    • Stained glass window restoration.
  • Gowanda Free Library (Cattaraugus County) - $11,737
    • Original slate roofing material to be replaced as well as asphalt shingles from addition. Protection and/or replacement of wood fascias and gutters.
  • King Memorial Library in Machias (Cattaraugus County) - $12,863
    • Construction of a new space to be used for reading, programming, education, wi-fi access, and community events.
  • Ashville Free Library (Chautauqua County) - $61,156
    • Vinyl siding, insulation, and construction of a new front entrance for the Ashville Free Library building.
  • Lakewood Memorial Library (Chautauqua County) - $7,351
    • A new tasteful and attractive sign combining traditional and digital elements creating an improved roadside presence and communication tool.
  • Mayville Library (Chautauqua County) - $181,582
    • Meeting room addition, installation of handicapped-accessible restroom, replacement of roof on existing building, and parking lot renovation.

In addition, the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System located in Jamestown will receive $6,604 for renovations, adding new partitions and other interior modifications that will facilitate increased productivity and improved results that will benefit libraries across the region.

“Residents will greatly benefit from the expanded services these renovations and improvements will make possible. These library buildings are in urgent need of upgrades,” said Senator Young.

“Although budgets remain limited, more people are utilizing our public libraries, making it increasingly difficult for their hardworking librarians and staff to provide the services and opportunities that people have come to expect. The services and improvements this funding makes possible will allow all of our libraries to meet the needs of patrons and continue to admirably serve their communities,” said Senator Young.

Senator Young has consistently been given high marks from library organizations for her support of funding for libraries in the state budget, her sponsorship of pro-library legislation, and for her stellar voting record in support of legislation that helps foster the success of community libraries.

“I am proud to have stood up for strengthening our libraries as they tackle these challenges so they can continue making our communities great places to live and raise a family,” said Senator Young.