Senator Patty Ritchie is backing a plan to boost aid to local libraries. The State Senate’s budget plan, approved Friday, includes $8 million in increased aid for libraries. If enacted in the final budget, it will be the fourth year in a row that library aid was increased.
“Our Central and Northern New York public libraries serve an important role, not only as centers of learning and entertainment, but also as vital community centers,” said Senator Ritchie, who serves as a member of the Senate’s Select Committee on Libraries.
The Senate’s budget restores a proposed $4 million cut to libraries, and adds an additional $4 million. The Assembly plan would cut aid to libraries by $2 million.
“The demand for library services continues to grow, from school children and families, researchers and job seekers utilizing the free Internet access many libraries provide. Our libraries need this additional support so that they can continue to meet the rising needs, and grow to be better prepared for the future.”
The Senate supported an additional $10 million in aid for local libraries over the past three years. The $8 million included in this year’s Senate budget represents the largest single-year increase during that time.
In addition, Senator Ritchie secured $160,000 in special grants for libraries in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties in last year’s budget.