Local Libraries Receive Construction Grants

James L. Seward

June 27, 2016

ONEONTA, 06/27/16 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today announced that community libraries throughout the 51st senatorial district have been awarded a total of $235,613 in public library construction grant funds.

"Our libraries are community hubs, hosting countless activities that enrich lives young and old," Seward said. “In many towns and villages, the local library is also a historic landmark in need of costly technological and accessibility upgrades that must be accomplished while still maintaining the building’s traditional character.”

The grants are from $14 million in capital funds for public library construction provided in the 2015-16 state budget.   Additionally, during state budget negotiations this past spring Senator Seward advocated for a much needed increase in funding for libraries.  The final 2016-17 state budget included $19 million which will be available for library projects next year.

Public library construction grants help local libraries and library systems to construct new library buildings, create additions to existing structures, update electrical wiring to accommodate computer technology, meet standards of energy efficiency, renovate facilities to provide full accessibility to library users with disabilities, and provide meeting rooms to accommodate community needs.  New furniture, shelving, and equipment, including computer equipment, can be purchased for new or newly reconfigured or renovated space.

“Libraries have evolved a great deal over the years to continue to meet community needs, especially in the rural areas I represent.  Electronic lending has skyrocketed and many people utilize the Internet at their local library to job search or catch up on news from around the globe.  The library is also a gathering place where a vast array of education programs and other events are always available,” Seward added.

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 $2.2 billion.  More than 51 percent of the over 1,000 public library buildings in communities across New York are over 60 years old. Another 33 percent are more than three decades old.

Senator Seward is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Libraries and a consistent advocate for libraries.  He has routinely received high marks from the New Yorkers for Better Libraries for his support of libraries.

“Assisting libraries with state funds takes the burden off local taxpayers, while preserving and improving these valuable resources for generations to come,” Seward concluded.

 

 

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Complete listing of individual grant awards throughout Senator Seward’s district:

 

 

Herkimer

Ilion Free Public Library

78 West Street Ilion NY 13357

$101,951

Exterior masonry restoration.

Otsego

Kinney Memorial Library

3140 County Route 11 Hartwick NY 13348 0176

$25,035

Replace old windows and add insulation to basement walls and crawlspace areas.

Unadilla Public Library

193 Main Street Unadilla NY 13849

$35,475

Replace inefficient windows and light fixtures and interior renovations.

Village Library of Cooperstown

22 Main Street Cooperstown NY 13326

$23,327

Interior renovations.

Worcester Free Library

170 Main Street Worcester NY 12197

$23,606

Building insulation project.

Schoharie

The Middleburgh Library

323 Main Street Middleburgh NY 12306

$13,500

Replacement of existing heating system.

Tompkins

Finger Lakes Library System

1300 Dryden Rd Ithaca NY 14850

$7,925

Install "Airzone" units, back entranceway and exterior renovations.

Ulster

Olive Free Library

4033 Route 28A West Shokan NY 12494

$4,794

Purchase and install emergency generator, update electrical panels, consolidate electrical service, and install transfer switches and utility pole.