The Trenton Free Public Library will receive $302,000 in state funding through the state’s Library Construction Bond Act.
Approved by voters in 2017, the bond act 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 of 2020.
The second round of the bond act allocates $37 million to 36 library projects across the state. The list of projects for the second round of funding has been submitted to the New Jersey Legislature and will be signed by Governor Phil Murphy once it reaches his desk.
“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,” Murphy said. “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.”
New Jersey State Librarian Jennifer Nelson said back in 2017 when New Jerseyans passed the Library Construction Bond, no one knew a pandemic was on the horizon.
“During the pandemic, we’ve seen just how valuable our public libraries are to communities all over the state,” Nelson said. “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.”
The Trenton Free Public Library, founded in 1750, is one of the oldest public libraries in New Jersey, and the second free library in the U.S. after Philadelphia’s free library. In 2010, four of the five branches of the library were closed due to funding issues. Funding for the library from the City of Trenton was about $2 million last year.