State Aid for Library Construction 2020-2023: Additional Information

The following information regarding the 2020-2023 State Aid for Library Construction Program is provided for informational purposes so libraries can begin to seek appropriate approvals in anticipation of a proposal to the State for funding.

An appropriation of $14 million in capital funds for public library construction has been included in the FY2020-2021 State Budget.

The application procedure for the 2020-2023 construction program is an online process. All application forms will be found on the construction program online portal and must be submitted through the web-based application portal.  Please go to the Online System Account Registration Formexternal link opens in a new window to register to receive a user name and password AND to access the online application system. You will need a user name and password to submit an application.

NOTE: The deadline for submission of applications from the systems to the State Library is 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 6, 2020. However, each public library system will set its own deadlines for member libraries to submit applications to allow sufficient time for system review and system board approval. Please contact your public library system to find out its due date.

Please note that libraries who received construction aid in any previous year are eligible to apply for funding in 2020-2023, even if the project for which previous funding was received is not yet complete. However, a library cannot receive funding for the same project more than once.  The project for which funding is being requested in 2020-2023 must be separate and distinct from any project(s) previously funded.

Local libraries must work with their library system and submit all application materials to the system. The deadline for receipt of applications is set by each library system. The State Library encourages libraries to contact their system as soon as possible to let the system know if the library plans to apply for construction aid.

Libraries may apply for aid that could fund up to 75 percent of a project. The minimum project award is $2,500. There is no maximum amount, but the amounts will depend on the number of project applications received and the total funding available to the library system.

New for 2020-2023: Chapter 389 of the Laws of 2019 allows public library systems to apply for Coordinated Projects and Chapter 381 of the Laws of 2019 also provides library systems with a limited dollar amount to fund projects up to 90 percent of approved costs for libraries serving economically distressed communities.

Eligible project activities and expenditures include acquisition (purchase of a site and/or an existing building suitable for conversion to library purposes; see 90.12), construction, and renovation or rehabilitation of a facility. Routine maintenance is not fundable.

Other application/project criteria:

  • Libraries with multiple buildings may submit more than one application, but only one application per building. Note: Participation in a library system Coordinated Project Application does not preclude a library from submitting an individual single-building application.
  • Approved projects must start within 180 days of approval.
  • Only projects that are not completed at the time of application to the library system are eligible for funding.

The program period is July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2023. Only expenditures made after July 1, 2020, are eligible expenditures for funds allocated as part of this program. However, match funds expended on the project between January 1 – June 30, 2020, may be included as part of the total project cost. Libraries may use local, state, or federal public funds, private funds, or a combination of funds from those sources for the required certification of available funds to pay for the cost of the project, minus the aid amount. Note: Libraries may not use State and Municipal (SAM) Facilities Program Grants (DASNY) as match funds.

Per Education Law 273-a, fifty percent of the project award allocation is payable after January 1, 2021, pending final approval of the application if not rendered prior to that date. Forty percent of the allocation is payable after April 1, 2021, pending application approval. Based on prior year schedules, libraries should expect to receive final project approval from the State Library and a 90% payment during Summer 2021. Libraries have until June 30, 2023 to complete their projects, provided they have completed and submitted a progress report to the State Library requesting an extension for the third year. Libraries will receive the final payment of 10% upon project completion and receipt in the State Library of an approvable completion report.

Statutory Basis for funds:

Library systems should contact Natalie McDonough or Frank Rees with questions about the application deadlines, requirements and materials.

Last Updated: May 25, 2021 -- sm