Happy Spring Construction Season!

Thanks to the excellent advocacy efforts of you, your directors, community members, and local legislators, the NYS Construction Aid to Public Libraries program has increased in funding from $19 million to $24 million statewide. $625,000 is available for chartered member libraries of the Southern Tier Library System. In real terms, this year we could fund at a full 75% match, 8 library projects with total costs of $100,000. That’s really exciting!
All the information included in this email has also been sent in print to your library in their green delivery pouch.
Chartered libraries in the STLS region, must apply through STLS, using the timeline below.
The minimum project amount is $5,000. All STLS member libraries qualify for a 75% funding match, but the library must have the 25% in matching funds available at the time of application. Decide the amount requested carefully – the library can’t appeal for more funds and is also required to completely expend the funds as described in the application. The amounts of funds awarded to each library will depend on the pool of applicants and funding priorities (Eligibilities, Guidelines, and Priorities below).
Routine maintenance is not an eligible expense, including replacement of carpeting, roof repair, repainting, refinishing, repointing, etc. New books or other library materials are also ineligible expenses for this program.
In order to apply for Construction Aid in 2017, please submit the following to Margo Gustina via email (gustinam@stls.org) or STLS Delivery (attn.: Margo) by July 4th, 2017.
  • Notification of Intent to Apply form
  • Facility Plan (can be of your own making or use the attached Member Library Facility Plan template)
  • Contractor bid/quote (submit only one and can be informal)
  • State Historic Preservation Office approval if your library is more than 50 years old
  • Requests for approval must be made through the CRIS online portal: https://cris.parks.ny.gov/Login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2f
    • Use CRIS as a GUEST if you don’t have a current account
    • Select Submit from the top bar menu (unless you have a number with SHPO)
    • Choose Consultation Project from the list of wizards on the Submit page
    • Receipt of this mandatory letter can take weeks or months – don’t delay!
  • If the library doesn’t own the building or land, it must certify that the lease agreement stands for a minimum of 10 years from the anticipated date of project completion.


Wednesday, May 3rd: Webinar on Construction Aid. Register: https://tinyurl.com/nxh6g98
Tuesday, July 4th: Member library deadline to submit Intent to Apply packet to Margo
Wednesday, July 12th:  Member library presentations to STLS Trustees
Tuesday, July 18th: STLS Board of Trustees votes and recommends awards. Applicants notified.
Friday, September 1st: Complete applications filed online by member libraries.
August – October 2018: New York State announces successful applicants and issues funds to libraries.
RESOURCES FOR APPLYING (sent in print to your library)
2017 STLS Notification of Intent to Apply form (Word .docx) (.pdf)
2017 STLS Construction Aid Guidelines & Priorities (.pdf)
2017 STLS Facility Plan Form for Construction Aid (Word .docx) (.pdf)
Library Service Walk Through Checklists (optional) (.pdf)
Upcoming Events

How can your library help breath new life into a strong, sustainable community? There will be a lot of walking, talking, and sharing of ideas. Oh! And light refreshments. Location: Cuba Circulating Library, Cuba…»


Please join us for an information session designed for library professionals who serve members of our immigrant community, or for those simply interested in understanding the naturalization process.  Location: Fred & Harriett Taylor Memorial Library, Hammondsport…»

In this webinar, Margo will walk you through all the steps in applying for Construction Aid through STLS and any changes new to this year’s process. This session will be recorded and posted on our website afterward. Please register to receive the GoToMeeting link, which will allow for attendance by phone or computer. Location: Remote via GoToMeeting…»
Join us at the Library Trustees Association event, Trustees in the Know at the Broome County Public Library. While attendance at the event is free for Library Trustees Association members, you must be a member. STLS is offering scholarships to five libraries that will cover the cost of membership for those libraries that apply. Location: Broome County Public Library…»
National expert in children’s programming, Betsy Diamant-Cohen will help us transform storytimes for the 21st Century–learning styles, child development, Apps and much more to create an enhanced storytime. Connecting theories with practical, nitty-gritty details for organizing and presenting storytimes. Don’t miss this one! Lunch is provided. Location: STLS Headquarters…»
For all upcoming events, please visit the STLS program calendar.
As ever, please contact me with questions, concerns, and ideas.
In constructing better community spaces,
Margo Gustina
Trustee Consultant