Senator Daphne Jordan announces $433,343 in state aid for library construction to help public libraries across her 43rd Senate District

Claverack Free Library, Philmont Public Library, Valatie Free Library, Stillwater Public Library, Brunswick Community Library, Cheney Library, and Nassau Free Library all receive valuable State funding awards

Halfmoon, NY – New York State Senator Daphne Jordan (R,C,I-Halfmoon), the Ranking Republican Member on the Senate Libraries Committee, today proudly announced the award of $433,343 in state aid for library construction funds for several public libraries located throughout her 43rd Senate District, which includes all of Columbia County, and parts of Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Washington Counties.

The funds are from $14 million in capital monies for public library construction and broadband infrastructure projects provided in the FY2020-2021 State Budget. The funding awards for public libraries in Senator Jordan’s 43rd District are as follows:

  • Claverack Free Library: $17,451 for library improvements that will expand hours of access, increase accessibility for the elderly and frail, conserve energy, and enhance community safety (Mid-Hudson Library System, Columbia County);
  • Philmont Public Library: $23,941 for foundational and structural rehabilitation, and upgrades (Mid-Hudson Library System, Columbia County);
  • Valatie Free Library: $2,500 for the library to purchase a new furnace to maintain a healthier environment for staff and patrons. No negative impact will occur from the project and match funds are available (Mid-Hudson Library System, Columbia County);
  • Stillwater Public Library: $337,500 for the Stillwater Public Library to purchase a former factory to use as a new building (Southern Adirondack Library System, Saratoga County);
  • Brunswick Community Library: $11,625 for the addition of a second bathroom to the Brunswick Library to help manage heavy use and traffic (Upper Hudson Library System, Rensselaer County);
  • Cheney Library: $21,078 to expand the paved parking lot and install a wheelchair access ramp with exterior lighting to create a fully accessible library (Upper Hudson Library System, Rensselaer); and 
  • Nassau Free Library: $19,248 for the replacement of a defective disabled access ramp decking with new framing and decking. Also, the replacement of fluorescent lighting with LED Lighting (Upper Hudson Library System, Rensselaer County).

“As a lifelong, passionate advocate for our excellent public libraries, literacy, and lifelong learning, and now serving as the Ranking Member on the Senate Libraries Committee, I’m thrilled to announce the award of $433,343 in state aid for libraries across my 43rd Senate District so they can move forward with important construction and facility improvement projects,” Senator Jordan said.

“Our fantastic public libraries have always been vital, beloved assets that support reading, learning, culture, as well as countless programs and services that inspire children, help families, and serve communities. Throughout the pandemic, our public libraries have been doing more than ever, playing a vital role in helping close the digital divide by connecting more families and students with much-needed broadband access to facilitate remote learning and work. I want to ensure that our public libraries have the strong support they need to continue fulfilling their role of improving our quality of life,” Senator Jordan said.

Senator Jordan previously served as former Trustee, Member of the Executive Committee, and as Treasurer for the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library, and presently serves as a Director on the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library Foundation Board.

New York’s public libraries are in urgent need of renovation and upgrading. A recent survey showed a documented need for public library construction and renovation projects totaling more than $1.5 billion. Over half of the over 1,000 public library buildings in communities across New York are over 60 years old, and another one-third are more than three decades old. 

Many of New York’s local public libraries aren’t able to accommodate users with disabilities, are energy inefficient, and cannot provide Internet, computer, and other electronic technologies to users because of outdated and inadequate electrical wiring. Some do not have sufficient space to house the library’s expanding collection, address the need for adequate meeting room, or provide for public access computers.

Project activities and expenditures eligible for funding from the State Aid for Library Construction Program include financing construction of new library buildings, construction of additions to existing buildings, and the renovation and/or rehabilitation of existing space. Projects may include roof replacement, purchase and installation of alternative energy resources, new HVAC systems, windows, doors, lighting systems, electrical upgrades, and construction of new or replacement of old walkways and parking lots. Broadband infrastructure projects are also eligible. New furniture, shelving, and equipment, including computer equipment, may be purchased for new or newly reconfigured or renovated space. Renovations designed to provide accessibility for patrons with disabilities are a high priority.

In the FY2021-2022 State Budget, the state Legislature provided $34 million for projects that will be announced in the summer of 2022.