Sen. Fred Akshar Announces $150,000 in Funding for 24 Libraries Across SD 52

Funding will be used for Year-long Children's Programs, Book Purchases, and Technology Upgrades, Additional Funding for Fenton Library Infrastructure Also Secured

(FENTON, NY) Senator Fred Akshar joined local librarians at the Fenton Free Library to announce over $150k in library funds for 24 libraries through the BOOKS Program. These funds will go towards children's programming and new books for the children and young adults collections at libraries across the 52nd Senate District.

“After being elected in 2015, I was proud to continue the BOOKS Program started by my predecessor, Senator Libous,” said Akshar.“I've always said that the best way for government to be effective is by taking a bottom-up approach. Our new focus for the BOOKS Program is giving more control to local libraries to direct programs and funding as they see fit. Who knows each community's individual reading and programming needs better than their local librarians?”

The BOOKS Program was created by former Senator Tom Libous in 2000 as a reading program designed to reward elementary through high school students for time spent reading. After 17 years, Senator Akshar aims to refocus the program to give local libraries more resources and flexibility to meet the needs of their individual communities.

“Throughout my short tenure as State Senator, I've had the opportunity to travel across the district and tour many of our local libraries,” said Akshar. “It's been clear from the start that our libraries play a very important role in our communities, not only as a place to enjoy reading but also as a place for residents of all ages to gather for community events. I believe it's our job as public officials, to ensure the people we represent have access to the resources they need to be successful, such as computers, updated books collections, programming and more.”

“Senator Akshar has been a huge supporter of local libraries during a very critical time,” said Korin Spencer, Fenton Free Library Director. “Through the Senator's BOOKS Program and children's literacy funding, we are able to revitalize our community library by updating our collection of children's literature and adding additional programming. With the BOOKS Grant, we have been able to provide educational programming for our young patrons and their families.”

Akshar also announced a $100k grant to help toward repairs to the Fenton Free Library and the Town of Fenton Well. A total of $15,000 will be used to renovate the Fenton Free Library's structural supports to ensure community members continue to have a safe space to spend time with their families. An additional $85,000 will be used to maintain and update the Town of Fenton Well's features and to install a new energy efficient soft start motor controller.

“We're grateful to Senator Akshar for everything he's done for the Town of Fenton,” said Town of Fenton Supervisor Dave Hamlin. “We look forward to continuing to partner with his office to benefit the people of the Fenton community.”

“Senator Akshar was instrumental in securing a grant to fix some structural damage so we could continue to serve our library families,” said Spencer. We greatly appreciate Senator Akshar's support, which allows our small town library to be the "Heart of our Community!"

Full list of libraries receiving grants:
Afton Free Library
Apalachin Library
Bainbridge Free Library
Berkshire Free Library
Broome County Public Library
Cady Library
Candor Free Library
Catholic Charities of Broome Co.
Coburn Free Library
Deposit Free Library
Fenton Free Library
Four Co. Library System Cybermobile
George F. Johnson Memorial Library
Lisle Free Library
Louise Adelia Read Memorial Library
Mary Wilcox Memorial Library
Moore Memorial Library
Nineveh Public Library
Oxford Memorial Library
Spencer Library
Tappan-Spaulding Memorial Library
Vestal Public Library
Waverly Free Library
Windsor Community Library