Ritchie Rates a ‘A’ from Libraries Group

State Senator Patty Ritchie was given an “A” for her efforts on behalf of New York State’s public libraries during the recent legislative session, according to New Yorkers for Better Libraries.

The library supporters recently released their “2011 Voters Guide: The Library Advocates Guide to the Voting Records of the New York State Legislature.”

“In rural communities, public libraries play an important role in helping people find jobs, improve their literacy skills and prepare themselves for new careers,” Senator Ritchie said. “That’s why I fought hard to insure that our libraries did not suffer a disproportionate share of the cuts while we wrestled with an extraordinarily tough budget year.”

Senator Ritchie received an “A” for her legislative voting record for:
· Budget Restoration – Voting to restore $4 million for library aid, of which $3 million was included in the final 2011-12 state budget;
· Public Library Construction Grants – A new law modifies the public library construction grant program to enable grants to used to purchase vacant land as well as a lower match to 25 percent of project costs for libraries in high needs areas;
· Efficiency Grants – A new law expanded eligibility of public libraries to apply for local government efficiency grants;
· Job prep funding – A bill passed the Senate that would allow libraries to apply for Employment Preparation Education grants.

A copy of the 2011 Voter’s Guide can be found at www.newyorkersforbetterlibraries.org.