Spring 2007

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$14 million in Public Library Construction Grants Will Benefit New Yorkers Statewide

Spring 2007 issue of Trustee

The New York State Library will soon be announcing some 200 recipients of the New York State legislature’s one time $14 million 2006/2007 appropriation for construction and renovation of public libraries and public library systems.

The grants will enable public libraries and public library systems to upgrade and renovate their facilities to accommodate new technologies and meet the needs of their communities.  Libraries will be able to update electrical wiring to accommodate computer technology, replace roofs, upgrade heating and cooling systems, and become fully accessible to library users with disabilities.

The types of activities funded from the one-time $14 million allocation include acquisition (purchase of an existing building suitable for conversion to library purposes), construction, and renovation or rehabilitation of public libraries or public library system headquarters. Routine maintenance, however, is not fundable.

The New York State Library expects to publicly announce the names of libraries and library systems receiving 2006-2007 construction grant awards over a period of several weeks once final project approvals are received from the Dormitory Authority of New York State.

A list of the libraries and library systems awarded construction grants will be available on the New York State Library’s website at

While these grants will be a tremendous help to libraries across New York, there remains a documented $1.7 billion need for public library construction and renovation in New York State and a large amount of construction and renovation that needs to be done. The Executive Budget proposes an additional one time allocation of $14 million in capital funds for public library construction and renovation in 2008/09. 

The Regents Priority Legislative Proposal for 2007-2008, the New York Knowledge Initiative proposes $14 million for public library construction and renovation for 2007-2008 and ongoing support of $30 million annually. In addition, the New York Knowledge Initiative proposes $10 million in ongoing annual support  for NOVELNY (the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library), and $3 million annually for library systems. 

For more information go to or call Janet M. Welch, State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries at (518) 474-5930 or via email at

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