MADISON — Governor Phil Murphy announced the second round of funding for the Library Construction Bond Act (LCBA), which allocates $37 million to 36 library projects from 13 counties across New Jersey.
The Library Bond Act was approved by voters in 2017 and authorizes $125 million in state bonds for technology updates, building improvements, and other library projects across the state. The first round of funding, which allocated $87.5 million, was announced in January 2020. The list of projects for the second round of funding has been submitted to the Legislature and will be signed by Governor Murphy once it reaches his desk.
Free Public Library of the Borough of Madison will receive $913,974.00.
“Libraries are the foundation of our communities and investing in them is just as critical as investing in our schools, in our cities and towns, and in our families,” said Governor Murphy. “The library offers critical resources and is where the concept of lifetime learning comes to fruition, where the spirit of community is celebrated, and where families come together. I am pleased to announce this second round of funding so we can continue to see progress in the modernization of New Jersey’s libraries.”
“Libraries have served as a lifeline for so many during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the Library Construction Bond Act, the Long Branch Public Library will have the funding it to help close the digital divide by expanding the space it needs for computers and career counseling initiatives,” said U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone. “At the federal level, I’ve fought to ensure that libraries have access to critical funding to help students and teachers stay connected to the classroom. The Emergency Connectivity Fund that I included in the American Rescue Plan has delivered over $96 million to our state’s schools and libraries, giving students the tools they need to complete their homework, research, and at-home projects. Every dollar we invest in our libraries is an investment in the future of young people in our state. I want to thank Governor Murphy for his leadership and his effort to ensure that libraries have the resources they need to stay open and accessible for years to come.”
“Back in 2017 when New Jerseyans passed the Library Construction Bond, no one knew a pandemic was on the horizon, and during the pandemic, we’ve seen just how valuable our public libraries are to communities all over the state,” said Jennifer Nelson, New Jersey State Librarian. “The new and refurbished buildings that are being supported through the Bond Act will benefit New Jerseyans for years to come with safe, healthy spaces and up-to-date technology that are available to all. When we improve our libraries, we improve our communities and the lives of residents.”
“New Jersey’s public libraries are constantly evolving to serve a wider range of community needs. From jobs and workforce development to digital literacy and community building, they assure that all New Jerseyans have access to key tools of the 21st century,” said Dr. Merodie Hancock, President of Thomas Edison State University.
The state’s investment in public libraries will ensure that more people who lack access to basic technology and information have a place to go. Our libraries have stepped up during the pandemic and shown that equitable access to technology and information is critical to rebuilding our state.”