Area libraries awarded funding

OBSERVER Photos by Jo Ward The Dunkirk Public Library.

New York state Sen. George Borrello and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell announced that five libraries from the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System were awarded more than $200,000 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 $14 million in capital funds allocated by the Legislature for public library construction and renovation as part of last year’s state budget.

“Our public libraries are essential to the growth and success of our communities,” Sen. Borrello said. “As information and technology hubs, libraries provide resources that help people transform their lives. They are also community centers, safe spaces and the only access point for many who need vital internet access.

“Library budgets are stretched thin as it is, this funding will help our libraries update their facilities without impacting local taxpayers.”

Libraries in the district awarded funding through the New York State Library Construction Fund include:

¯ Dunkirk Public Library received $129,631 to replace windows to improve usability, appearance, & energy efficiency. Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System.

¯ Myers Memorial Library in Frewsburg received $128,022 to modernize the library, ensuring the safety and health of patrons and staff. Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System.

¯ Patterson Library in Westfield received $19,292 to upgrade an old elevator and install door protector alarms. Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System.

¯ Ripley Public Library received $24,750 to replace non-insulated windows. Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System.

¯ Sinclairville Free Library received $6,942 to replace a furnace and interior inefficient lighting fixtures Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System.

“This funding help our libraries can meet the needs of our communities, passing on our history and knowledge to the next generation and helping us dream, imagine and build a brighter tomorrow,” Sen. Borrello said. “The volunteers and staff at our libraries provide wonderful programs folks need and deserve. This funding will help ensure they have the resources to do that.”

Over half of the over 1,000 public library buildings in communities across New York are over 60 years old. Another one third are more than three decades old.

Many of New York’s local public libraries are unable to accommodate users with disabilities, are energy inefficient, cannot provide internet and computer and other electronic technologies to users because of outdated and inadequate electrical wiring.

Renovations designed to provide accessibility for patrons with disabilities are often given the highest priority.


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