February: A Great Month To Love Your Library

By Senator Patty Ritchie
My children are grown now, but I can remember the excitement they would feel in anticipation of a school break.  The thing is that excitement would only last so long, and before we knew it, they would be bored and itching to get out of the house.

The solution was simple, take them on a visit to our local library.

Offering everything from bestsellers and movies to encyclopedias and  job searching tools, public libraries are a great, economical way to access entertainment and educational resources.

This month, and every month, libraries throughout Central and Northern New York also offer a number of programs for both children and adults.

Skype lessons, “Mother Goose Story Time,” Family Bingo and a Valentine’s Day Family Fun Night are just a few of the activities being offered at libraries in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties in February.

For a full schedule, visit the North Country Library System’s website at http://ncls.northcountrylibraries.org/

Now, more than ever, libraries are seen as vital parts of our communities.

According to a poll released last month by the Pew Research Center, 60 percent of people surveyed said they have visited their library in the past year.

91 percent of participants said that public libraries were important to their communities.

Here in New York State there are 7,000 public libraries, including more than 50 public libraries in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties, one of the largest concentrations of public libraries in any Senate district in the state.

As State Senator I am committed to helping create brighter futures for our libraries.

For the past two years, I received an “A” rating by the group New Yorkers for Better Libraries for my support of public libraries, including my work to restore $3 million in library funding that was cut from the State Budget.

Now, as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Libraries, I am continuing that commitment in an effort to ensure our libraries receive the support they need to be able to serve their communities.

Recently, I met with representatives of Northern New York libraries from Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties to talk about ways to support local libraries.

Libraries offer something for everyone; mystery, fantasy, a wealth of knowledge, entertainment and so much more.

I encourage you visit and support your local library this month and every month.

Happy reading!