The NJ State Library Has Received Over $34 Million in Federal Funding to Invest in Capital Improvements at Community Facilities Statewide

TRENTON – March 28, 2024 – The New Jersey State Library (NJSL), an affiliate of Thomas Edison State University, is pleased to announce the launch of its Community Center Digital Connect program, a community resilience project that will address disparities in access to education, employment, and health services by investing in capital improvements at community facilities across the state. Community Center Digital Connect is funded by the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (CPF), established by Section 604 of the Social Security Act, as added by Section 9901 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The federal Capital Projects Fund was designed to address critical needs that emerged during the COVID-19 public health emergency, and provides crucial funding for enhancing the quality of life, economic vitality, and resilience of communities across the United States.

On March 15, 2024, Governor Phil Murphy announced that the State of New Jersey has been approved for a total of nearly $180 million through the U.S. Treasury’s Capital Project Fund to support a wide range of infrastructure projects that promote public health and safety, digital connectivity, and equitable access to critical services. More than $34 million of these funds have been approved for the State Library’s Community Center Digital Connect program, which will enable the construction or improvement of buildings that directly support employment, education, and health monitoring.

“The State Library’s Community Center Digital Connect Program is a prime example of the strategic investments we are making with federal pandemic funds to address key challenges in building more resilient communities,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “This critical funding will help alleviate the disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and empower our communities through connectivity to ultimately improve literacy and education, boost employment, and protect public health across our state.”

“We are excited to work with the selected libraries, community and health centers to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals and communities across the state,” said Jen Nelson, State Librarian, New Jersey State Library. “Our mission is to empower residents by providing community-based access to high-quality modern infrastructure, including broadband, which is essential for accessing critical services.”

Communities with critical need were preselected, with eligibility determined by the community’s score on a Census-derived index. Eligible applicants participated in a competitive grant process, administered by the New Jersey State Library. The distribution of funding covers all corners of the state, from Phillipsburg in Warren County, to Atlantic City in Atlantic County.

For more information about the Community Center Digital Connect program, and to view the full list of awarded projects, visit: www.njstatelib.org/CPF.

About Julia Giantomasi

I've had opportunities throughout my career to coordinate marketing and social media for live events and small businesses across various industries. I've enjoyed keeping up with the trends and using social media to not only promote quality services but create a sense of community. As the PR & Marketing Coordinator for the New Jersey State Library I can draw from these experiences in order to provide tips and best practices for libraries handling their own marketing and social media. I hope that I can be a resource to libraries across New Jersey as they engage with their communities.