(WBNG) -- The New York State Department of Education announced they awarded $34 million in aid to 232 public libraries across the state to support construction and renovation projects.
The Southern Tier will receive $1,732,024 to go towards financing new construction projects.
Chairwoman of the New York State Senate Education Committee says libraries have been an essential part of the community since the beginning of the pandemic.
"COVID has made it clearer than ever that our public libraries are essential community centers and trusted sources of information. Throughout the pandemic, our libraries adapted and shifted their services online to remain essential centers for our communities," Chairwoman of the New York State Senate Education Committee Shelley B. Mayer said in a statement sent to 12 News.
Interim Commissioner Betty A. Rosa says libraries give communities constant access to updated resources.
“Libraries give entire communities the resources they need to thrive by providing access to broadband and are natural partners in education,” Interim Commissioner Rosa said. “New Yorkers will also be able to use these updated resources for better access to healthcare, workforce resources, social services, financial institutions and goods and services.”
The department of education says the money will go towards creating new buildings or additions, update electrical wiring and computer technology, improve broadband infrastructure, renovate facilities to provide accessibility to disabled users and more.