A portion of the gift will fund renovations and much-needed work at three East Harlem branches — a complete renovation of the 125th Street branch, repairs and improvements at the Aguilar branch, and a buildout of a new, larger library at the Macomb's Bridge branch. The gift also will support educational programs and services, including significant expansions in the areas of immigrant services, technology training, and early literacy.
"The library has such an important role to play in the community," said Marilyn Simons, who with her husband signed the Giving Pledge in 2010. "In addition to its traditional role as a source of information and knowledge, the library provides access to space and resources that might not otherwise be available. I've been impressed by the library's increasingly important role as a provider of free, practical programs, such as English language classes, computer skills training, and job research, preparation, and placement services."
"I concur with Marilyn," Jim Simons added. "The library has played a central role in the cultural history of the city, and it is a pleasure to assist it in its important mission."