Senator Flanagan Thanked For His Support Of Libraries

John J. Flanagan

September 06, 2006

Senator Flanagan joins with (from left) Laurie Pastore (Commack Public Library), Michael Squillante (Elwood Public Library), Stephanie Heineman (Northport-East Northport Public Library), Senator Flanagan, Robert Lusak (Smithtown Library) and Kevin Verbesey (Suffolk Cooperative Library System) to celebrate the additional funding that was directed to the libraries across New York State.

Senator John J. Flanagan (2nd Senate District) was recently honored by the library directors of his Senate District for his work to secure over $19 million in funding for the libraries of New York State. The library directors recently joined at an event arranged by the Suffolk Cooperative Library System and the Public Library Directors Association to publicly thank Senator Flanagan for his efforts to have this money was included in the New York State budget.

"SenatorFlanagan has been a long time and active supporter of public libraries. Herecognizes that information is the heart of our democracy and the hissupport of public library funding has made it possible for the libraries in his district to better serve his constituents," said Kevin Verbesey, Director of the Suffolk Cooperative Library System. "The Suffolk Cooperative Library System and the Public Library Director's Association of Suffolk County appreciate Senator Flanagan's support and thank him for making a positive difference in the lives of our communities."

A key component of the funding is the New York State Senate's plan to use 2000 census numbers to allocate library funding. By discontinuing the use of 1990 census information, the change will allow library funding to accurately reflect changes in population. This will allow the state to better fund those libraries who saw an increase in the community they serve.

The on-time budget allocates an additional $2.6 million in funding to cover any increased costs associated with population growth. This budget allocation, which was pushed by Senator Flanagan, will protect the funding levels for those libraries who may have lost population.

The Senate initiated package also adds $3 million in funding for library systems throughout the state and $14 million in additional funding for capital projects for the coming fiscal year. The funding for the library systems will assist school districts and public libraries throughout the state. It will also add greatly to the academic, research and resources systems across the state.

Funding for capital projects will allow libraries to modernize and expand if necessary. Due to the work of Senator Flanagan and his colleagues, this funding is an increase of $13,000,000 over the average yearly amount of $800,000 that the state annually allocates.

"Funding libraries is an integral component of supporting education in New York State. Our children need them to expand on the lessons they are taught during the school day and our communities utilize them as meeting places to nurture growth in our residents. Libraries should serve as the educational and community centers of our region and that can only happen if they are adequately funded," stated Senator Flanagan. "I am proud to have worked to secure this funding."