Local Libraries to Receive State Funding For Needed Improvements

March 3, 2009

Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (D-Watertown) announced that the state has awarded more than $200,000 for infrastructure improvements to libraries throughout the North Country under the 2008-09 Public Library Grant Award initiative.

“This funding will not only help our libraries improve their services, but it will also help already struggling local governments and taxpayers, who would otherwise have to pick up the tab,” Russell said.

The awards include:

  • $159,000 to the Hepburn Library of Waddington for restorations, including new electrical and lighting systems; rehabilitation of exterior brick, stone, wood and windows; and installation of insulation and ventilation in the attic;
  • $23,000 to the Potsdam Public Library for the construction of two wheelchair-accessible bathrooms from one existing bathroom;
  • $16,000 to the Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library of Watertown for the reconstruction of storage space to create a new meeting room and the purchase of new furniture;
  • $11,600 to the Massena Public Library for the reconstruction of existing space to create new office space in the children’s room and the purchase of new furniture;
  • $5,000 to the Canton Free Library for the construction of an interior partition to create a new teen area and the purchase of new furniture; and
  • $3,700 to the Norwood Library for the replacement of front and back doors, sealing off of unused double doors, repositioning of portico lights and installation of light sensor switches in the building’s interior.

Stephen B. Bolton, director of the North Country Library System, said that the money couldn’t come at a better time, noting that visitation and circulation are up in the midst of a crushing recession.

“These state funds will be put to good use by smaller libraries that already know how to spend money wisely,” said Bolton.

“At a time when the nation is tightening its belt and scaling back valued services, it is heartening to see the state maintaining its commitment to our community,” Russell said. “I will continue working to ensure the North Country gets its fair share.”