Young Announces Grant Funding For Several Local Libraries
ALBANY — Eighteen libraries from the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System, the Southern Tier Library System and the Pioneer Library System were awarded $775,339 in state Public Library Construction Grants to assist with renovation and construction projects.
The funding will enable libraries to better meet the needs of their patrons by increasing accessibility and modernizing facilities while reducing operating costs. The awards are from $24 million in capital funds allocated by the Legislature for public library construction and renovation as part of last year’s state budget.
“Libraries are essential to the success and growth of our communities,” said state Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean. “The volunteers and staff at our local libraries do a fantastic job providing services and programs the public needs. Unfortunately, many libraries are located in historic buildings which are not accessible to those with disabilities. Most libraries also need to upgrade to become more energy efficient and update their systems and adapt to changes in technology.”
Young said addressing all the required needs of older libraries is often too great for property taxpayers.
“These grants allow libraries to make much-needed improvements and upgrades while protecting local taxpayers,” Young said.
Young said that despite limited budgets and a greater demand for services from the public, librarians and library staff continue to meet the needs of their patrons and communities.
“Libraries are the keepers of our history and gateways to our future,” Young said. “The library is where our children attend after-school programs, where we learn about local history and where we access the internet to research business and educational opportunities. Our public libraries continue to be resources, passing on knowledge and the joy of reading and learning to all who enter their doors.”
Libraries in Young’s district which were awarded funding through the New York State Library Construction Fund include:
¯ Cattaraugus Free Library received $17,250 for interior renovations and energy efficiency upgrades.
¯ Memorial Library of Little Valley received $70,677 for a new parking lot and interior renovations.
¯ Portville Free Library received $102,973 for major exterior renovations.
¯ Ashville Free Library received $13,521 for interior renovations.
¯ Bemus Point Public Library received $12,866 to replace its HVAC system.
¯ Franklinville’s Blount Library received $27,385 for exterior renovations.
¯ Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System in Jamestown received $6,002 to create a collaborative office space.
¯ Darwin R. Barker Library Association in Fredonia received $44,834 to install ADA compliant restrooms, new windows and a new HVAC unit.
¯ Hazeltine Public Library in Jamestown received $7,575 to upgrade air conditioning units.
¯ Lakewood Memorial Library received $65,704 to install solar panels and for outdoor renovations.
¯ Mary E. Seymour Memorial Free Library in Stockton received $112,399 for exterior and interior renovations.
¯ Myers Memorial Library of Frewsburg received $104,606 to expand and modernize its kids and teens space.
¯ Richburg’s Colonial Library received $124,500 to renovate the library and begin a fully ADA compliant addition.
¯ Cuba Circulating Library received $11,250 to replace its boilers with an energy-efficient heating system.
¯ Friendship Free Library received $17,664 to renovate its auditorium and multi-use space.
¯ Almond’s Twentieth Century Club Library received $15,188 to renovate a handicapped-accessible ramp.
¯ Whitesville Public Library received $6,600 to replace its roof.
¯ Mount Morris Library received $14,345 to replace air conditioners and a furnace and repair a chimney.
According to a New York state survey, public library construction and renovation projects costs are approaching more than $1.7 billion, because more than 51 percent of the state’s library buildings are over 60 years old. Another 33 percent of libraries are in buildings that are at least three decades old.
Funding through the state’s Library Constructing Program helps libraries finance additions to existing facilities, construction of new buildings, and the renovation and/or rehabilitation of existing space. Renovations designed to provide accessibility for patrons with disabilities are often given the highest priority.