New York State Senator Pete Harckham announced yesterday that three public libraries in the 40th Senate District—Reed Memorial Library in Carmel, Hendrick Hudson Free Library in Montrose and John C. Hart Memorial Library in Shrub Oak—have been allocated state aid for various construction projects. The funds are from $34 million in capital funds for public library construction and broadband infrastructure projects provided in the FY2021-2022 State Budget.
“Residents of all ages depend on our public libraries for books, entertainment, information, research materials, a number of different services—and a sense of community,” said Harckham. “More than ever, we need to ensure that our libraries are equipped with state-of-the-art resources and technology, as well as updated infrastructure. Our continuing investments in these three libraries will provide incalculable benefits to the communities they serve.”
Harckham noted that many public libraries statewide 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 half of the over 1,000 public library buildings in communities across New York are over 60 years old.
Moreover, many of New York’s local public libraries are unable to accommodate users with disabilities, are energy inefficient and cannot provide Internet, computer access and other electronic technologies to users because of outdated and inadequate electrical wiring. Many library buildings do not have sufficient space to house expanding collections and cannot address the need for adequate spaces for research, studying or community gatherings. access computers.
Among the library projects being funded in the 40th Senate District is the rehabilitating and upgrading of the roof at the Reed Memorial Library in Carmel. The ceiling and structural damage due to leaks will be addressed as well, and the library’s sign will be replaced. Total state aid for these repairs and upgrades is $215,852.