CFL Library Director Jen Graney and NYS Senator Lea Webb standing on either side of a poster of Senator's Webb's District 52, which includes Cortland, Tompkins, and parts of Broome County.
CFL Library Director Jen Graney and NYS Senator Lea Webb with a depiction of District 52. Photo by Senator Webb’s office.

Cortland Free Library has been awarded $601,750 in NYS Library Construction Aid to fund the following projects:

  • Elevator Expansion/Reconfiguration: The elevator will be reconfigured to a three-opening unit with additional stops at the Art Gallery and Northwest Mezzanine, making these areas accessible for the first time to people in wheelchairs and others.


  • Main Reading Room HVAC System: This means air conditioning in the Main Reading Room! Those of you who have been here in the summer know that it sometimes hits 90 degrees in the stacks. With an eye towards energy efficiency, this new system will also help provide comfort and safety to staff, patrons, and our library materials.


  • New Spaces in the Main Reading Room: More exciting changes in the Main Reading Room include a build-out of the existing circulation desk and relocation to the center of the room; a dedicated Teen Space; a dedicated Community Room; a staff office partition; and a Makerspace to be added to the Northwest mezzanine!


  • Parapet Section Replacement: Southwest sections of the parapet are crumbling and allowing water seepage into the building; this replacement will help prevent future damage.


  • Permanent Exterior Sign: Highly visible, colorful permanent sign to be installed at the Northeast corner of the building.

Our thanks to Assemblymember Anna Kelles and Senator Lea Webb who announced the news of CFL and many other libraries in our region receiving this funding.

CFL will be responsible for matching up to 25% of the award. We’ve already begun planning for the project’s start, together with our Buildings & Grounds Committee (chaired by Myron Walter) and our architect Jon Carnes (Crawford & Stearns). We will also be working closely with the State Historic Preservation Office to ensure the work is aligned with the requirements and needs of our state-registered historic building. We expect this to be a multi-year project. Stay tuned as work gets underway!

These funds are from $34 million in capital funds for public library construction and broadband infrastructure projects provided in the FY2022-2023 State Budget. To view other projects that were funded and to learn more about the urgent need New York’s public libraries have for renovations and upgrades, visit