NEW YORK — The State Education Department has awarded $14 million to 135 public libraries and systems statewide to support construction and renovation projects. These funds help libraries construct new buildings, create additions, update electrical wiring and computer technology, improve broadband infrastructure, meet energy efficiency standards, renovate facilities to provide full accessibility to library users with disabilities, and provide meeting spaces to accommodate community needs.
The Capital Region was awarded $894,661. The only library in Saratoga County to apply and receive state aid was Stillwater Public Library in the Southern Adirondack Library System. With the $337,500 they were awarded, the Stillwater library will purchase a former factory, the Fiber Mill at 712 Hudson Ave., to use as a new building.
Construction funds are allocated to New York State’s 23 public library systems based on formulas in Education Law. Member libraries apply for the State funds allocated to their public library system. Each library system’s governing Board of Trustees then prioritizes the projects and sends approved project applications with recommended project awards to the State Library. After State Library review, applications are then sent to the Dormitory Authority of New York State for final review and approval.
The $14 million in capital funds for State Aid for Library Construction are provided in the 2020-21 Enacted State Budget. In the 2021-22 State Budget, $34 million was provided for projects that will be announced in summer 2022. The deadline to submit an application for that funding to the New York State Library was Oct. 6, 2021.