Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Authorizing State Funding for up To 90 Percent of Total Project Costs For Public Libraries in Economically Distressed Communities


ALBANY, NY – On October 22, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed legislation (A.3771A/S.5589) providing State funding for up to 90 percent of the total project approved costs for construction of public libraries in economically distressed communities.

Small and rural public libraries are in dire need of capital improvements and were disproportionately disadvantaged by the Public Library Construction Aid Program’s requirements. Providing public library systems with greater discretion to award capital grants will broaden opportunities to address our state’s aging public libraries.

"Libraries are cornerstones of any community and great equalizers that provide resources and access to information to all New Yorkers, no matter who they are, where they come from, or how rich or poor they are," Governor Cuomo said. "With this new law, we strengthen our library system, focusing our resources on those who need it most and creating a stronger and more equal Empire State for all."

Jeremy Johannesen, Executive Director of the New York Library Association: “The New York Library Association is grateful to see this expanded flexibility implemented in the law, and the increased accessibility to funding by our smallest and most in-need libraries that it brings.”

Special thanks to Assemblymember Didi Barrett and Senator Shelley Mayer for sponsoring this bill. NYLA would also like to thank all the library champions who advocated for this bill. We ask that you continue to support NYLA’s advocacy efforts by signing up as a Library Champion and donating to NYLA’s Advocacy Fund. 

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