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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

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Seward Announces Grant Funds for Local Libraries

Written By Editor on 6/16/14 | 6/16/14

ONEONTA, 06/13/14 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) announced last week that community libraries throughout the 51st senatorial district have been awarded a total of over $685,000 in public library construction grant funds. 

The Community Library in Cobleskill received $40,462 in funding to replace roofing on the western half of the building and to add a ramp and door for improved accessibility. It was the only public library in Schoharie County to receive funds this fiscal year. 

"Our libraries are community hubs, hosting countless activities that enrich lives young and old," Seward said.“Libraries are also some of the most historic landmarks we have and they are often in need of costly technological and accessibility upgrades that must be accomplished while still maintaining their traditional character.”

Public library construction grants help local libraries and library systems to build new libraries, create additions, update electrical wiring to accommodate computer technology, meet standards of energy efficiency, renovate facilities to provide full accessibility to library users with disabilities, and provide meeting rooms to accommodate community needs.  New furniture, shelving, and equipment, including computer equipment, can be purchased for new or newly reconfigured or renovated space.

“Electronic lending has skyrocketed and many people utilize the Internet at their local library to job search or catch up on news from around the globe.  It is vital that libraries are able to keep up with changing needs,” Seward added.

New York’s public libraries are in urgent need of renovation and upgrading.  More than 48 percent of the over 1,000 public library buildings in communities across New York are over 60 years old. Another 30 percent are more than three decades old.

Senator Seward is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Libraries and a consistent advocate for libraries.  He has routinely received high marks from the New Yorkers for Better Libraries for his support of libraries.

“Assisting libraries with state funds takes the burden off local taxpayers, while preserving and improving these valuable resources for generations to come,” Seward concluded.

The grants are from $14 million in capital funds for public library construction provided in the 2013 state budget.
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