In an effort to enhance the services provided by local libraries, State Senator Patty Ritchie is announcing she has secured $137,000 in special funding that will benefit 32 libraries in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties and two library networks serving local communities, as well as help to increase the number of “Little Libraries” throughout Central and Northern New York.
“Our libraries play a vital role in communities throughout Central and Northern New York, offering patrons more than just a place to access books,” said Senator Ritchie. “They are community hubs that provide excellent resources for everyone from job-seekers and researchers to children and families. This funding will enable our libraries to continue to improve services and opportunities for countless people throughout our region.”
Funding secured by Senator Ritchie will help libraries with costs associated with construction projects, technology upgrades, as well as with purchasing books and other necessary supplies.
In addition, a portion of funds will go toward the building of “Little Libraries.”
To be placed throughout Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties, the small wooden boxes, which will be built by students at Jefferson-Lewis BOCES, St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES and Oswego County CiTi, will offer increased opportunities for accessing books.
Recently, Little Libraries built by students at St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES and made possible through funding secured by Senator Ritchie were installed throughout the city of Ogdensburg.
“We appreciate and thank Senator Ritchie for her continued support, allowing our small libraries to move forward with improving the services that their patrons find so very valuable,” said John Hammond, Executive Director of the Northern New York Library Network.
“Budget constraints often limit the ability of our public libraries to purchase new books, offer expanded programming or move forward with capital improvements,” said Stephen Bolton, Director of the North Country Library System. “We appreciate Senator Ritchie’s help in obtaining this funding, allowing our libraries to build upon the myriad of services they provide.”
Libraries and library systems receiving special funding are as follows:
Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library
Central Square Library
Cogswell Free Library
Fulton Public Library
Hannibal Free Library
Parish Public Library
Phoenix Public Library
Pulaski Public Library
Adams Center Free Library
Adams Free Library
Brownville-Glen Park Library Association
Cape Vincent Community Library
Crosby Public Library
East Hounsfield Free Library
Ellisburg Free Library
Evans Mills Public Library
Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library
Hawn Memorial Library
Hay Memorial Library
Henderson Free Library
Mannsville Free Library
Philomathean Free Library
Rodman Public Library
Theresa Free Library
Thousand Island Park Library
St. Lawrence County
Canton Free Library
Hepburn Library of Edwards
Heuvelton Free Library
Rensselaer Falls Public Library
Senator Ritchie also secured grants of $5,000 each for the Northern New York Library Network and the North Country Library System, part of which will be used to help build Little Libraries.
In addition, $10,000 has been awarded to St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES and Jefferson-Lewis BOCES to have students construct Little Libraries.
As a member of the State Senate Select Committee on Libraries, Senator Ritchie has been working to increase funding for libraries across New York State in an effort to ensure they can continue to provide educational opportunities, books and technology.
Since 2012, she has successfully advocated for an increase of $18 million in state budget funding for public libraries, as well as secured more than $475,000 in special funding benefitting dozens of local libraries across Central and Northern New York.
There are more than 7,000 public libraries in New York State, including more than 50 public libraries across Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties – one of the largest concentrations of public libraries in any Senate district in the state.