Local public libraries awarded grants

Thomas F. O'Mara

May 12, 2011

Albany, N.Y.—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats), Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R-C-I, Corning) and Assemblyman Christopher Friend (R, Big Flats) announced today that public libraries in Schuyler, Steuben, Tompkins and Yates counties have been awarded state library construction grants.

The area legislators said that the grants are being awarded through the state’s $14-million Library Construction Grant Program contained in last year’s state budget.

“A public library is a fundamental resource for area families, seniors, and countless other community residents.  We’re hopeful that these grants will help local libraries better afford and address their renovation needs,” the legislators said.

According to the New York State Library, which administers the grants, a recent survey revealed that public library construction and renovation needs statewide totaled more than $2.5 billion. More than 40% of the over 1,000 public library buildings across New York are over 60 years old. Another 30% are more than three decades old.  Many of New York’s local public libraries are unable to accommodate users with disabilities, cannot provide Internet and computer and other electronic technologies to users because of outdated and inadequate electrical wiring, do not have sufficient space to house the library's collection, and lack sufficient space for public access computers.

The construction grants help local libraries and library systems make renovations and upgrades, update electrical wiring to accommodate computer technology, renovate facilities to provide wheelchair accessible entrances and become fully accessible to persons with disabilities, and provide community meeting rooms.

O’Mara, Friend and Palmesano announced the following grants to libraries around the region:

> Watkins Glen Central School District Free Public Library (Schuyler), $2,500 for energy efficiency enhancements;

> Avoca Free Library (Steuben County), $5,053 for energy efficiency enhancements and other upgrades;

> Cohocton Public Library (Steuben), $22,600 for energy efficiency enhancements and upgrades to the library’s accessibility to persons with disabilities;

> Dormann Library in Bath (Steuben County), $25,838 for enhanced accessibility to persons with disabilities and safety improvements;

> Howard Public Library (Steuben), $10,229 for the replacement and restoration of a staircase and walls;

> Prattsburg Free Library (Steuben), $2,565 for energy efficiency upgrades;

> Southeast Steuben County Library in Corning (Steuben), $50,530 for a roof replacement and the installation of a new garage ceiling heater;

> Wimodaughsian Free Library in Canisteo (Steuben County), $19,364 for the renovation of the ground floor and other construction improvements;

> Ulysses Philomathic Library in Trumansburg (Tompkins County), $7,823 for a boiler replacement and book storage shed; and

> Penn Yan Public Library (Yates County), $55,000 for a complete rehabilitation of the upper floor.