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Senator Seward Announces Grants for Local Libraries

Written By Editor on 10/15/20 | 10/15/20

State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today announced that community libraries throughout the 51st senatorial district have been awarded a total of over $950,000 in public library construction grant funds.  


“Our libraries are significant educational resources that also serve as community hubs," Seward said. “In many towns and villages, the local library is also a historic landmark in need of costly technological and accessibility upgrades that must be accomplished while still maintaining the building’s traditional character.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, our local library administrators have met new challenges head-on and I applaud them for continuing to safely serve the public under these trying circumstances.” 


The grants are from $34 million in capital funds for public library construction and broadband infrastructure projects provided in the 2019-20 state budget.    


“Libraries have evolved a great deal over the years to continue to meet community needs, especially in the rural areas I represent.  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.  Many adjustments have taken place over the past few months, but our local libraries are still vital community beacons,” Seward added. 


Public library construction grants help local libraries and library systems to construct new library buildings, create additions to existing structures, 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.  Renovations designed to provide accessibility for those with disabilities are a high priority.  Broadband infrastructure projects are also eligible 


New York’s public libraries are in urgent need of renovation and upgrading.  A recent survey showed a documented need for public library construction and renovation projects totaling more than $1.5 billion.  More than 52 percent of the over 1,000 public library buildings in communities across New York are over 60 years old. Another 31 percent are more than three decades old 


Senator Seward is a past 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. 




Complete listing of individual grant awards throughout Senator Seward’s district: 


Library Name 



Project Description 

Library System 


Edmeston Free Library - Proposed New Library 

26 East Street Edmeston NY 13335 


Electrical update with hardwired carbon monoxide/smoke detectors. New front porch roof, ADA ramp, and structural restoration. 

Four County Library System 


Finger Lakes Library System 

1300 Dryden Rd Ithaca NY 14850 


Renovate roof on the two-story & single story parts of building and rehabilitate parking lot. 

Finger Lakes Library System 


Frank J Basloe Library 

245 No Main Street Herkimer NY 13350 


Add an ADA compliant bathroom by reconfiguring the 2 existing bathrooms and a hallway. 

Mid York Library System 


Frankfort Free Library 

123 S Frankfort St Frankfort NY 13340 


Upgrades to lower level lighting, flooring, relocation of kitchen and janitorial closet to provide energy efficient, usable, public space. 

Mid York Library System 


Groton Public Library 

112 East Cortland Street Groton NY 13073 


Phase 2 will feature interior redesign. Relocation of children's area & the adult stacks. Adding two handicapped accessible bathrooms & vestibule. 

Finger Lakes Library System 


Kinney Memorial Library 

3140 Co. Rt. 11 Hartwick NY 13348 


Replace front door with a new automatic door to increase accessibility. 

Four County Library System 


Little Falls Public Library 

10 Waverly Place Little Falls NY 13365 


Reconfigure existing children's area in order to improve access, increase safety and accommodate new technology. 

Mid York Library System 


The South New Berlin Free Library 

3320 State Highway 8 South New Berlin NY 13843 


Library building addition to include ADA compliant restroom and community room. 

Four County Library System 


The Community Library 

110 Union St Cobleskill NY 12043 


East wing building envelope improvements and fire suppression system expansion. 

Mohawk Valley Library System 


Worcester Free Library 

170 Main Street, PO Box 461 Worcester NY 12197 


Install air cooling system utilizing air handlers. 

Four County Library System 


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