Assemblyman William Magnarelli (District 129) was joined by representatives of local libraries last week as he announced the library construction grants in his district. Included were Solvay Mayor Ron Benedtti, Director of Baldwinsville Public Library Marilyn Laubacher, Executive Director of Onondaga Library Elizabeth Dailey, Central Library Administrator Doreen Milcarek, Director of Administrative Services at Central Library Sally Carmer, President of the Board Ginny Biesiada, Library Liaison Amanda Travis, Director of Solvay Library Loretta Hughes, and Solvay Board of Library Treasurer Mary Kocher.
The Baldwinsville Public Library was recently awarded $6,675 from the Public Library Construction grant to complete energy-savings renovations by insulating the entire library’s wall-ceiling interface.
“We have been very fortunate over the years to receive library construction grants for a variety of projects,” said Library Director Marilyn Laubacher. Past projects include moving the book drop to a different location in the building where it could be left open 24/7, replacing the damaged library façade on the parking lot entrance to the building with stone, weather-stripping doors and improving window seals.
Approved library grants were announced last week, and also included the Phoenix and Solvay Public libraries, as well as the Robert B. Kinchen Central Library of Onondaga County.
The Phoenix Library is receiving more than $12,500 to repair its roof and enact energy-saving measures; Solvay was awarded $19,800 to replace 1979 windows with more energy efficient custom windows; and the Robert B. Kinchen Central Library of Onondaga County is receiving $307,925 to replace an outdated, 25-year-old HVAC system.
“Our state legislators have been very supportive of the libraries in Onondaga County, and have been able to maintain library construction funding despite difficult state budgets the past few years,” Laubacher said. “We are grateful for their efforts on behalf of libraries that have benefitted the Baldwinsville Public Library and others.”
More than 40 percent of library buildings across New York are over 60 years old and another 30 percent are more than three decades old. Many of the state’s 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are energy inefficient, cannot provide Internet and computer and other electronic technologies to users because of outdated and inadequate electrical wiring and do not have sufficient space to house the library’s expanding collection.
The New York State Library designated 170 construction grants to public libraries and public library systems throughout New York State. The grant funds are from $14 million in capital funds for public library construction provided in the 2012 State Budget.