Visitors of the Rockville Centre Public Library should notice significant improvements and have an enhanced experience while using the library. Several much-needed construction projects at the library were able to move forward, thanks to the allocation of $178,019 in state aid. The money enabled the library to replace its roof and install soundproof glass.
These funds are from $34 million in capital funds for public library construction and broadband infrastructure projects provided in the 2018-2019 fiscal year state budget and were secured by Assemblywoman Judy Griffin and Sen. Todd Kaminsky.
“The library greatly appreciates the support from Senator Kaminsky and Assemblywoman Griffin for the state’s construction grant program and their assistance in securing these funds for us,” said Catherine Overton, director of the Rockville Centre Public Library.
According to Overton, the library’s roof was out of warranty and was leaking, so its replacement was necessary. The library completed a construction grant application for the new roof, as well as for the installation of soundproof glass in five study rooms. Overton said both projects were completed with the expectation that the funding would be received, and members of the library are already reaping the benefits.
“The study rooms are heavily used and the patrons appreciate the sound reduction,” said Overton.
The announcement of the secured funding came last week.
“The Rockville Centre Public Library is a pillar of our community, and its services empower residents of all ages to read, learn and grow,” said Kaminsky. “I was pleased to secure this funding, which will go a long way in making the Rockville Centre Library an even better resource for the community.”
Across the state, Kaminsky said, 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 $1.7 billion. More than 52 percent of the over 1,000 public library buildings in communities across New York are over 60 years old. Another 31 percent are more than three decades old.
Many of New York’s local public libraries are 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are energy inefficient, cannot provide Internet and computer and other electronic technologies to users because of outdated and inadequate electrical wiring. Many 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.
“Libraries are an important, vibrant and supportive resource at the center of our communities,” said Griffin. “I was proud to secure this funding so that the Rockville Centre Public Library will continue inspiring young minds and supporting residents of all ages.”