Reed & Magaziner Deliver $700,000 for PPL Building Upgrades

July 8, 2024

In an effort to provide new and improved community spaces and ensure that Providence Public Library (PPL) can continue to be a key asset for Rhode Islanders looking to access information services, education programs, workforce development, and arts and other cultural collaborations, U.S. Senator Jack Reed and U.S. Representative Seth Magaziner have teamed up to secure $700,000 in federal funding for PPL, which serves over 200,000 Rhode Islanders each year.

Senator Reed and Congressman Magaziner today joined with Jack Martin, executive director of PPL, to tour planned renovations and upgrades of the historic 1900 PPL building as well as the library’s courtyard and to talk with librarians and staff.

“Rhode Island’s tremendous network of public libraries offer much more than books – they are places for the community to gather, access critical services and resources, and provide opportunities for Rhode Islanders to explore and develop new interests and passions,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and the leading champion of public libraries in the U.S. Senate. “This investment in the Providence Public Library will help keep the building modern and inviting to the public and ensure that PPL can continue offering top-notch resources, events, and services for the community.”

“Thousands of Rhode Islanders visit the Providence Public Library each year to study, work and learn, and they deserve nothing but the best facilities and community spaces,” said Rep. Seth Magaziner. “I am proud to help secure federal funding to upgrade the library to a 21st century facility that will be used to host more events and programs that serve people across our state.”

The federal earmark secured by Reed and Magaziner will be used for renovations and infrastructure upgrades to help create unique, modern community spaces both indoors and outdoors at PPL. The funding will also help to mitigate water damage in the nearly 125-year-old portion of PPL located at 225 Washington Street, which is used for special events, special collections of historic books and other artifacts significant to the library and to the city of Providence, and as a place of Rhode Islanders to access critical resources provided and supported by PPL.

“PPL, all RI public libraries, and those we serve are incredibly fortunate to have the tremendous and unwavering support of both Senator Reed and Congressman Magaziner. They recognize the enduring importance of libraries and we are grateful for their work on our behalf. As we approach PPL’s 150th anniversary, these funds to maintain and enhance our beautiful building will help ensure that our historic library continues to be here for another 150 years,” said Jack Martin, PPL Executive Director.

Through renovations and upgrades, PPL plans to use the funding to hold more events and programs in the historic section of the library and improve the experience for patrons who are checking out books, exploring the historic property, or looking for a place to do some work or relax.

PPL also plans to utilize this federal funding to increase accessibility of its courtyard, creating a new unique, transitional outdoor space that would enable PPL to host myriad new community programs, provide yet another inviting and inspiring new space for patrons to enjoy a book on a sunny day, and offer more options for event partners.

Senator Reed and Congressman Magaziner secured this federal earmark for PPL in the fiscal year 2024 appropriations law. PPL now needs to complete federal compliance documentation with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) before the funds can be expended.