State Money To Help Several Local Libraries

Three libraries in Chautauqua County are set to undergo renovations thanks to some state funding.

As part of a $14 million capital fund appropriation gathered in the 2013-14 state budget, Ashville, Mayville and Lakewood libraries will see improvements to meet and serve the needs of the public, according to a press release issued by state Sen. Catharine Young, R-C-I-Olean.

Young noted the value of the library improvements for continued use by the communities.

“Today’s libraries serve as an invaluable role in our communities,” Young said. “They host after-school and summer programs for students, provide a forum for educational public events and provide online access and other valuable resources to job seekers.”

The projects are due to take place as part of the Public Library Construction Grant Program. The constructions will support eight libraries in Young’s district to accommodate users with disabilities, provide up-to-date infrastructure for computers and Internet access to allow more room for books and meeting space.

Ashville Free Library will receive $61,156 in funds to install vinyl siding and insulation along with constructing a new front entrance. Mayville is receiving the most money out of the eight libraries undergoing changes, with $181,582. A meeting room will be added along with installation of a handicapped-accessible restroom. The existing roof on the building will be replaced and the parking lot will be renovated. Melissa Bartok, Mayville Library director, was excited to hear the news since the building was well overdue for a makeover.

“These renovations will increase patronage as well as community use since we’re adding a larger meeting room,” Bartok said. “It’s been getting a little crowded. Feedback among the community was very positive.”

Lakewood Memorial Library is set to see $7,351 in construction funding for a new sign to gather more attention among the community. The sign will incorporate traditional and digital aspects to increase communication communitywide.

“We want to get the word out to people and create more of a presence alongside the road,” said Mary Miller, library director. “This is what people told us to do and we decided to do it.”

Miller mentioned that New York state never funded signage in the past until now. The library is one of the first to be granted a sign by the state. The sign is currently on order and should be ready for display in a month, according to Miller.

On top of the construction set to take place on the libraries, the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System, located in Jamestown, will receive $6,604 in renovations according to the press release. New partitions will be added along with other interior changes that will generate greater efficiency.

“Residents will greatly benefit from the expanded services these renovations and improvements will make possible,” Young said.