The State Library Board approved Public Library Construction grants to 11 public libraries totaling $7,389,021 at their regular meeting, Nov. 25. The funds will be used toward renovation and expansion projects as well as new construction. The total cost of the 11 projects is $54,373,913. The state grants are capped at $1 million. The libraries need to raise the additional funds from local sources.
Once a community has its local funding in place, the State Bond Commission will have to approve the state grant before construction can begin. This program has been providing grants for public library construction projects that create usable space through new buildings, additions, and renovations and for projects that improve existing space such as handicapped accessibility, correcting building and fire code violations, remodeling to accommodate new technologies, and energy conservation, since 1974.
State Library Board Chair, John N. Barry said “throughout Connecticut’s history, public libraries play an important role in the lives of residents and the members of the Board take very seriously its role in supporting the development of library services statewide to continue the meaningful work that libraries contribute to our society.” State Librarian Kendall Wiggin added that “libraries throughout the state are expanding and renovating to meet the changing needs of their communities and remain a vital community resource.” According to Wiggin, Connecticut has the some of the most visited libraries in the nation. In 2011, the last year comparative data was available and Connecticut ranked 5th in per capita library visits.
Public Library Construction grants approved by the Connecticut State Library Board:
Burlington Public Library – $1 million for an expansion and renovation project.S.B. Little Library, Columbia – $1 million for an expansion and renovation project.
Jonathan Trumbull Library, Lebanon – $1 million for an expansion and renovation project.
New Fairfield Public Library – $751,253 for extensive renovation, ADA and code compliance.
New London Public Library – $75,000 for a variety of remodeling and repair projects.
Wheeler Library, North Stonington – $140,009 for energy conservation windows project.
Portland Public Library – $20,000 for an ADA compliance project.
Putnam Public Library – $1 million towards a new library building.
Tolland Public – $1 million for an expansion and renovation project.
Voluntown Public Library – $402,759 for an expansion and renovation project.
Westport – $1 million for an expansion and renovation project.