Jaffee Announces State Grants for Rockland Library Improvements

May 12, 2011

Pearl River, NY – Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) today announced the Nyack Library and the Tappan Free Library have each been awarded over $100,000 in state grant funding to improve and expand their educational facilities.

“From igniting a child’s passion for reading to fostering life-long learning, libraries are critical to our community and must be provided with the resources to thrive,” said Jaffee. “These grants will help ensure our local libraries can fully engage Rockland readers and provide the educational opportunities our residents need and deserve.”

The Nyack Library, located at 59 South Broadway in Nyack, will receive $150,604 to create a new public access computing area and to furnish the space. Tappan Free Library, on Oak Tree Road in Tappan, has been awarded $112,470 as part of a major facility expansion that will prepare for a new building to be joined to existing library.

These grants are provided through the $14 million Public Library Construction Grant Program, which finances construction of new library buildings, additions to existing buildings, and the renovation and/or rehabilitation of existing space.

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 $2.53 billion. More than 40% of the over 1,000 public library buildings in communities across New York are over 60 years old. Another 30% are more than three decades old.

Many of New York’s local public libraries are also unable to accommodate users with disabilities, are energy inefficient, cannot provide Internet and computer and other electronic technologies to users because of outdated and inadequate electrical wiring, and do not have sufficient space to house the library’s expanding collection, address the need for adequate meeting room, or provide for public access computers.

“In these difficult economic times, our public libraries are also increasingly relied on as a source of free, high-quality education and entertainment, and we must make every effort to ensure our libraries can meet this demand,” Jaffee added.