Students Urged to ‘Check Out’ Their Local Libraries Over Winter Break

By Senator Patty Ritchie
Here in Central and Northern New York, our local libraries provide a wonderful place for students to use their imaginations to escape into the world of books, while helping them build upon their reading skills and knowledge at the same time.

We are fortunate to have more than 50 public libraries in Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties – one of the largest concentrations in the state.

As chair of the Senate Select Committee on Libraries, as well as a book lover, I want to encourage students in grades kindergarten through 8th to visit their local library and participate in my new program, “Make Libraries Your Winter Break Destination.”

Through this program, students are invited to submit a one-page essay or picture depicting why libraries are the place to be during winter break.

All students who participate will receive a special certificate and bookmark, while three winning entries – one each from Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties – will receive a special “book basket”  filled with books and other educational materials.

All submissions must be accompanied by a program registration form, which can be downloaded at or can be mailed to participants by calling (315) 782-3418.

All entries must be submitted by February 28 and may be sent via email to [email protected] or mailed to the following address:

Office of State Senator Patty Ritchie
317 Washington Street
Watertown, NY 13617

I look forward to seeing all the reasons why students are making their library a winter break destination and hope that through this program, students and their families will be encouraged to visit their library, pick up a book and make reading part of their winter break plans.