Council Member Kevin C. Riley Announces Significant Funding to the Edenwald Branch of the New York Public Library$10.6 million in New York City Council Capital Funding Paves the Way for a Redesigned Complete Branch Renovation
April 14, 2023— City Council Member Kevin Riley and New York Public Library (NYPL) officials on Friday announced $10.6 million in City Council capital funding for the Bronx’s Edenwald branch, which will pave the way for a complete renovation. Council Member Riley was joined by NYPL President Anthony W. Marx, NYPL’s Merryl and James Tisch Director Brian Bannon, Edenwald Library Manager Charity Goh, members of the community, and neighborhood children.
In recognition of the funding, Council Member Riley gave the Library an oversized check for the full capital funding, which was allocated in Fiscal Year 2023. Pictures of the event are available upon request. The Edenwald renovation project has a total of $14.1 million in capital funding, which includes the $10.6 million that Riley announced on Friday as well as $1.9 million dollars previously allocated to NYPL by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. The Library is grateful for all of the support it has received.
Funding for the Edenwald Library will go towards necessary upgrades for the 7,500 square foot branch, which was first constructed in 1973. This includes:
- Building envelope work including facade, roof and window replacement as necessary
- Replacement of critical building systems including HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and security
- New technology including WiFi upgrades and new computers
- Reconfiguration of spaces to better serve patrons and support branch programs; including improved spaces for children, teens, and staff
- Updated, fully accessible restrooms
- New finishes throughout including ceiling, walls, lighting and flooring
The announcement comes at a critical time for New York City public libraries, which currently face a staggering $52.7 million proposed cut to their Fiscal Year 2024 expense budgets.
“I have learned firsthand the value our city’s public libraries provide within our communities,” said Council Member Kevin C. Riley. “As a former library page within my district, it is an honor to present the Edenwald Library with $10.6 million in capital funding that will aid in providing newly renovated facilities and enhanced essential services that our constituents rely on daily. The New York Public Library not only empowers community members of all ages with equitable access to knowledge, programs and technology, but it also provides safe spaces that bring our communities together. Thank you Speaker Adams for your partnership and commitment to uplifting District 12 with this transformative project and committing to reinvest in our underserved communities with comprehensive support.”
“We thank Speaker Adrienne Adams and Council Member Riley for this major capital funding investment, which will allow for Edenwald’s first major renovation in its 50 year history. We also thank them for their support as we advocate for funding in the upcoming city budget. They understand that investing in libraries is an investment in New York City’s future, particularly in neighborhoods like Edenwald that rely on us for so many services. We look forward to serving this community for the next 50 years,” said NYPL President Anthony W. Marx.
“The New York Public Library (NYPL) has served communities across our city for decades,” said NYS Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie. “Many families depend on the resources libraries provide, including internet access, information navigation skills, and of course their plethora of books. The funding being provided by Councilman Riley and The New York City Council to the NYPL- Edenwald Branch will allow for necessary infrastructure updates to be made and ensure the longevity of this facility for generations to come. Thank you to my partners in government for putting the needs of our children and families first.”
“When we invest in our young people, we invest in the future of our communities. Our libraries are vibrant hubs of learning, creativity, and connectivity,” said NYS Senator Jamaal T. Bailey. “From promoting literacy to providing year-round youth enrichment opportunities, our public libraries fill existing gaps in access to education, internet service, technology resources, and community programming. This funding will enable much-needed upgrades to the Edenwald Library and allow the branch to continue providing critical services to families in the Northeast Bronx and beyond. I want to thank Council Member Kevin C. Riley and NYC Speaker Adrienne Adams for their commitment to investing in the future of our communities and all of the resources and opportunities that libraries provide.”
“Thank you to City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Council Member Riley, a former NYPL page who understands the power of public libraries through his own experiences. Renovating our spaces is crucial to better accommodating the needs of our patrons, and always leads to increased branch usage. This funding will give us a beautiful space to learn, grow and connect with the neighborhood for generations to come,” said Brian Bannon, NYPL’s Merryl and James Tisch Director.
About The New York Public Library
For over 125 years, The New York Public Library has been a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With over 90 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars. The New York Public Library receives approximately 16 million visits through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org. To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at nypl.org/support.