Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D-Central Islip) announced that local libraries will receive nearly $130,000 for infrastructure improvements. The grants for the Brentwood and Central Islip public libraries come from the $14 million allocation in capital funds for public library construction that Ramos fought for in the 2008-2009 State Budget.
“These grants are an excellent use of state funding,” Ramos said. “During a recession, families must look for entertainment and learning opportunities that fit their budgets. Libraries provide free books, internet access and community programs, so it’s important we invest in these valuable institutions when times are tough.”
The awards include:
- $102,477 to the Central Islip Public Library for construction of a new storage building; and
- $27,500 to the Brentwood Public Library for the renovation of existing space to create a coffee bar area.
“We appreciate Assemblyman Ramos’ commitment to improving our libraries,” said Brentwood Library Director Thomas Tarantowicz. “This grant will give us a space to host community events and for patrons to read and relax.”
“Assemblyman Ramos has been a long-time active champion of public libraries and this is just another example of his strong support of our local libraries,” said Paul Facchiano, Director of the Central Islip Public Library.
Over 40 percent of New York’s public libraries are over 60 years old. A recent survey showed the need for library construction and renovation projects totals more than $2.2 billion to provide Internet access, accommodate users with disabilities, increase energy efficiency and expand space for book collections and meetings.
Ramos is cognizant to the financial challenges public libraries face trying to meet infrastructure needs and secured $50,000 in 2007 to assist Central Islip Public Library. “We must ensure that our local libraries are safe, comfortable places for families, children, job seekers, and senior citizens.” Ramos said. “This funding will help our libraries continue to provide learning resources to the entire community.”