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Photo courtesy of the Office of New York State Sen. Sean Ryan
Photo courtesy of the Office of New York State Sen. Sean Ryan

Ryan secures $90,000 in state grants for Erie County libraries


Wed, Aug 3rd 2022 10:00 am

Grants include $50,000 for Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, additional $10,000 in funding for four individual libraries

On Monday, New York State Sen. Sean Ryan joined representatives from the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System to announce he secured a total of $90,000 in state grants for the library system and its branches.

The grants provide $50,000 in general operating funds for the library system, and an additional $10,000 in general operating funds for four branches in the 60th State Senate District: the Grand Island Memorial Library, City of Tonawanda Public Library, the Kenmore Branch Library, and the Kenilworth Branch Library in the Town of Tonawanda. The funds will help with the libraries’ various expenditures that are made to ensure Western New Yorkers have access to quality library materials and services.

The grants for these local libraries supplement the nearly $100 million in operating funding provided in the state budget for fiscal year 2022-23.

A press release noted, “As chair of the Senate Libraries Committee, Ryan was instrumental in securing an increase in library operating aid and led the effort to restore a proposed cut to library construction aid, ensuring an allocation of $34 million in construction aid for New York’s public libraries. According to the State Education Department, every dollar invested in state library aid yields $7 worth of local library services.”

In June, Ryan’s bill (S.8429A) to provide New York’s libraries with additional time to complete state-funded construction projects was signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul. The new law enables libraries impacted by supply chain issues and labor shortages to continue renovation and expansion projects that have extended beyond their allotted time frames without forfeiting the state aid because of factors outside of their control. He previously helped pass legislation to expand construction funding opportunities for New York’s small and rural libraries.”

Ryan said, “For years, New York’s library aid program went underfunded, causing many libraries to cut back services and put off technology upgrades. But over the last two years, we have reversed that trend. I have always said that, when we invest in our libraries, we are investing in our communities. The grants I have secured for our local libraries will supplement their state operating aid and help these branches continue to provide their communities with high-quality library materials and essential services.”

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Director John Spears said, “Sen. Sean Ryan is a true believer in the value of our libraries. We appreciate his leadership in helping to make local and statewide libraries equipped with resources to meet community needs.”

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