Construction Aid

$72,000 is available for chartered member libraries of the Southern Tier Library System.


STLS is firmly committed to seeing projects begun with funding through STLS be completed with these funds. For this reason, STLS has chosen to first fund the completion of the work currently under way at our libraries. While New York State has approved 14 million in capital funds for public library construction (2009 funding levels), STLS will only have $72,000 to spend on new projects. Chartered libraries in the STLS region, must apply through STLS, using the timeline below.

STLS has chosen to prioritize accessibility projects first, and foremost.

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 (see attached Eligibilities, Guidelines, and Priorities).

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 2019, please submit the following to Margo Gustina via email ( or STLS Delivery (attn.: Margo) by June 9th, 2019:

    • 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:
      • 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.

STLS timeline for 2019 Construction Aid applications

Wednesday, May 8th at 10 am: Webinar on Construction Aid. Register here. View the state’s here:

Here’s a recording of ours from last year:

Sunday , June 9th: Member library deadline to submit Intent to Apply packet to Margo

Monday, June 17th (exact time TBD):  Member library presentations to STLS Trustees

Tuesday, June 18th: STLS Board of Trustees votes and recommends awards. Applicants notified.

Friday, September 7th: Complete applications filed online by member libraries.

July – September 2020: New York State announces successful applicants and issues funds to libraries.

For more information contact Margo Gustina,


2019 STLS Notification and Intent-to-Apply-Form (as .pdf) (as editable .docx)

2019 STLS Construction Aid Guidelines and Priorities (as .pdf)

2019 STLS Facility-Plan-Form-for-Construction-Aid (Downloadable Word Facility-Plan-Form-for-Construction-Aid)

Library Service Walk Through Checklist .pdf

Ease of Access Reflection Checklist .pdf


State Construction Programs

Application and Instructions

Application Checklist

Frequently Asked Questions

SHPO website

Forms for the state application – Reference Only! (Not Updated for 2019)

Building photographs
Certification of Available Funds
Certification of lease agreement
Municipal consent for building projects
SEAF part one
SEAF part two
SHPO info
Smart Growth

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