TRENTON, NJ -- More than a year after a majority of New Jersey voters voiced their support for community libraries, Governor Phil Murphy announced the launch of the first round of grant solicitations for the Library Construction Bond Act.
Through the approval of a statewide ballot question on the November 2017 general election, the public authorized $125 million in state bonds to support public libraries providing modern and technologically efficient library facilities. Libraries throughout New Jersey will now be able to apply for the funding via the New Jersey State Library. Applications will be accepted between March 9, 2020 and April 6, 2020.
Libraries who are selected for the bonds must use the funding for projects such as ADA accessibility, major building renovations, and new construction projects.
"Libraries are a cornerstone of our communities and serve as trusted sources for vital information and resources," said Governor Murphy. "With this funding, libraries across our state will be able to fund critical projects to improve their facilities and ensure a productive and pleasant experience for patrons young and old."
The measure creating the ballot question that created the grants was sponsored by Hamilton lawmaker Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton).
"Our libraries are the cornerstones of our communities. They help to keep residents connected to many crucial services," said DeAngelo. "With this first round of grant solicitation, we begin the effort to preserve and protect our state's public libraries. These investments will pay off for generations to come."
"This program provides a wonderful opportunity to improve library facilities, making them safer, more energy efficient, and technologically modern," said Mary Chute, New Jersey State Librarian. "All of the projects to be funded through the Bond Act will directly benefit the communities and people of New Jersey. This initiative will improve our libraries' ability to respond to the needs of our communities and will help New Jersey residents bridge the digital divide."
"Our libraries are an integral part of communities across New Jersey," said Dr. Merodie A. Hancock, president of Thomas Edison State University. "Through the Library Construction Bond Program, improvements to these libraries will increase access for New Jersey residents to a host of digital and physical resources and further support the educational priorities of the state."
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