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Durham Lawmakers Announce Approval of State Funding for Durham Public Library Renovations

Posted on December 22, 2021


DURHAM – The Durham state legislative delegation today announced the approval of a state grant to support renovations to the Durham Public Library.

State Senator Paul Cicarella (R-34), House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora (R-84), Senator Christine Cohen (D-12), and Representative John-Michael Parker (D-101) thanked the State Bond Commission for approving the allocation of $147,000 to support library improvements.

“The Durham Library is a fixture of our community and this funding enables it to best serve our community as a center of learning and conversations for years to come. I thank the state for recognizing the importance in investing in our libraries to promote literacy, community, and education access,” said Senator Paul Cicarella.

“Libraries are critical to our cities and towns, serving not just as places to borrow books, but as hubs for community conversation, informational programming and access points for an array of resources. That’s certainly the case in Durham, and I was glad to join my House and Senate colleagues in the effort to secure money for the library’s renovation. I appreciate that the governor added this funding to the Bond Commission’s agenda, and I’m confident that the state’s investment in this project will ensure that the library can continue to serve Durham residents in its wide-ranging capacity for years to come,” said Representative Vincent Candelora.

“This bonding for the Durham Public Library shows government and bipartisan advocacy at its best,” said state Senator Christine Cohen (D-Guilford), whose Senate District includes Durham. “We listened to local officials, did our due diligence, and worked together as a team for the benefit of the people of Durham. I want to thank my legislative colleagues and Governor Lamont and the State Bond Commission for seeing the value of this public project and for bringing it over the goal line.”

“Thanks to the leadership and vision of our library staff and town officials, the Durham Library is well-suited to use this investment from the state to support a number of critical improvements, from ensuring ADA access to increasing gathering and studying space,” Representative John-Michael Parker said. “I’m grateful the Bond Commission approved this project and is continuing to support our small towns and communities.”

For several years, the Durham Public Library has been developing a plan to update the library interior, which is essentially unchanged from the 1980s. The library developed a plan that will provide new quiet study areas, community gathering spaces, and updated technology access. The project will also add automated entry doors and ADA-compliant furnishings to improve access.

“The library is dedicated to providing the residents of Durham with reliable access to books, programming, and other informational resources,” the Durham lawmakers wrote in a joint letter urging support for the library earlier this year. “It is a vital asset to our community, serving over 100,000 patrons annually. The library’s appearance and functionality are of upmost importance to encourage an adequate learning environment.”

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