State Aid for Library Construction is one of the most important funding programs administered by the New York State Library. The Legislature provides critical support for this program through an annual appropriation in the state budget. In each of the past three years, the program has been funded at $34 million. Since 1983, the first year state funding was provided for public library construction, total appropriations come to over $374 million.
As part of the NYS Library’s work administering these funds, a survey of public library construction needs across the state is undertaken on a regular basis. This needs assessment provides important data to the New York State Education Department and the Legislature on the conditions of library buildings across the state and highlights the urgent need for restoration, renovation, and expansion of buildings and facilities.
To carry out the survey, the NYS Library asks each of the state’s 23 regional public library systems to collect data from their member libraries on their anticipated construction needs over the next five years, including cost estimates and descriptions of the type of work that needs to be done.
The most recent survey was conducted in the summer of 2023. The survey revealed more than $1.75 billion dollars in construction needs in New York’s public libraries. This represents an increase of more than 16% from the last five-year period. A summary table shows the five-year need for all 23 public library systems, and a full list of construction needs is provided for each member library.