$4.4 Million Renovation Project Planned For Harlem Library

August 31, 2023

Harlem’s Aguilar Library Set for $4.45 Million Renovation Amid Uncertainty Over New York Public Libraries’ Future.

The fate of New York’s public library system was uncertain, but the outlook for Harlem’s Aguilar Library on East 110th Street has brightened as it secured the lion’s share of a $34 million fund allocated for library construction projects throughout the state. State authorities revealed this development last week.

Amid a statewide initiative, these construction projects will encompass a range of enhancements, including the installation of modern electrical infrastructure and cutting-edge computer technology, upgrades to ensure greater accessibility, and measures aimed at bolstering energy efficiency.

State Senator Iwen Chu, Chair of the Libraries Committee, emphasized the importance of staying technologically up-to-date to meet the growing reliance on technology and the Internet in daily life. “Our NYS Library facilities must have the funding to stay updated with current equipment to fulfill those needs,” Senator Chu stated.

In a bid to uphold the vitality of New York City’s libraries, a pivotal $3.5 million boost is designated for the Brooklyn Central Library, which will also undergo essential construction efforts.

The precarious status of New York City’s library system had caused concern during the formulation of this year’s city budget. The specter of impending cuts totaling $36.2 million loomed over public libraries, jeopardizing staffing levels and operating hours. However, in a welcome turn of events, public libraries were spared from these drastic reductions in June, as reported by The City.

Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library, expressed her gratitude for the immense support garnered from numerous New Yorkers who rallied to advocate for library backing. “I’m energized by the overwhelming support we have received from thousands of New Yorkers who are standing with us to urge the City to support our libraries,” Johnson stated in March.

Furthermore, the grand Midtown Stephen A. Schwarzman Library underwent a complete renovation in July. This endeavor aimed to create a more inviting and cozy atmosphere within its public spaces, as highlighted by a report from The New York Times.

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