TRENTON – Recognizing the vital role that public libraries continue to play in our democracy and their importance as centers of learning and enrichment in our communities, where anyone and everyone can utilize their services, Senator Vin Gopal today reiterated his strong support for newly introduced legislation that appropriates $37,174,636.71 from the “New Jersey Library Construction Fund” to provide grants for construction, reconstruction, development, extension, improvement, and furnishing of New Jersey’s public libraries.
“Our public libraries are among our most valued public spaces. During the worst months of the pandemic, our library staffs across the state kept finding new and original ways to serve patrons, often working remotely, and sometimes under harrowing circumstances,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “This bill will make sure libraries can continue to make a difference in people’s lives – whether in the books, music or audio visual materials they offer, or in the programs and services they provide, whether to residents seeking employment tips, or self-improvement guides or merely making available a quiet place to sit and read.”
The bill, S-4221, introduced by Senator Gopal, along with Senators James Beach and Linda Greenstein, and co-sponsored by Senator Patrick Diegnan, will also include monies for small project grants for barrier-free improvements and repairs of New Jersey public libraries. These appropriations are funds from a bond act that voters approved in 2017 which authorized $125 million to finance capital projects at libraries throughout the State.
“Since the earliest days of America, the public library has been a place of discovery and knowledge for young and old alike. We must carry on with needed investments to make sure it remains such a place.”