Local Libraries Receive State Grants

ONEONTA, 06/20/13 – 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 nearly $350,000 in public library construction grant funds.

"Our libraries are hubs for countless activities and are vital to our communities, especially in these tough economic times" Seward said. “Libraries are also some of the most historic landmarks we have and are in need of  repairs and upgrades to ensure their future viability and accessibility.” 

Public library construction grants help local libraries and library systems to build new libraries, create additions, 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. 

“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.  Technology upgrades are imperative to help libraries keep up with changing needs,” Seward added. 

New York’s public libraries are in urgent need of renovation and upgrading.  More than 48 percent of the over 1,000 public library buildings in communities across New York are over 60 years old. Another 30 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 received an “A” grade from the New Yorkers for Better Libraries in its 2012 Voter’s Guide: The Library Advocate’s Guide to the Voting Records of the New York State Legislature.

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





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



Cortland Free Library


The proposal is to renovate basement rooms for greater use & technology, restore the portico roof and sections of parapet to improve energy efficiency, and restore hardwood flooring in main reading room to increase library use.


Sidney Memorial Public Library


This accessibility project will include upgrading ramp access to include handicapped access to the library Community Room entrance and adding automatic door openers to library front doors.


Sharon Springs Free Library


This project will improve accessibility for people with disabilities by installing automatic door openers, railings, and ramps contiguous with a new parking lot surface.

The Community Library


This project will insure patron safety and increase usable space for library programming by  removal of asbestos in pipes and floor tiles in two rooms and in the hallway of the library annex and includes air quality testing.


Phoenicia Library


This project includes a two-story addition to the library for increased library services, adding an elevator for ADA accessibility, maximizing energy efficiency, and adding  both a children's room and a community room to maximize this facility as a community hub.