Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column
“What in the world would we do without our libraries?” This question, posed by Hollywood legend—and library lover—Katherine Hepburn, is one I often ask myself. From books and videos to community events and computer access, today’s libraries offer so much in the way of entertainment and education.
Here in Central and Northern New York, we’re fortunate to have one of the largest concentrations of public libraries in the state. Of the 7,000 public libraries in New York State, more than 50 are right here in our backyard.
As your State Senator—and an avid reader—I’ve had the opportunity to visit many of the libraries that dot our region. From Watertown’s beautiful Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library and the Ogdensburg Public Library, where I’ve had the pleasure of reading to young library patrons to the always-bustling Fulton Public Library, there are a lot of options for those looking to pick up the latest bestseller, access job-searching resources, and much, much more.
To celebrate our great libraries, I am asking patrons to vote for their favorite. Click here to cast your vote for the top libraries in Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties. Next month, I’ll announce the best of the best in Central and Northern New York.
Even before the winners are announced, there’s still a lot to celebrate when it comes to New York State libraries. In the final state budget, the Senate was able to secure the additional $4 million in aid to libraries. This represents a 4.9% increase over last year’s level and builds upon the work my colleagues and I did last year to secure a 3.3% increase in funding.
As a member of the Senate Select Committee on Libraries, I promise to keep working to support our state’s libraries—and the resources they provide to the public. Our libraries rely on you too for support, so I encourage you to get a jumpstart on your summer reading and visit your local library today.