by Andrew Henderson
The libraries in Phoenix, Parish, Pulaski and Williamstown are recipients of grants from the State of New York, according to Senator Patty Ritchie.
Ritchie said she secured special funding for 25 area libraries and two library networks serving local communities. The libraries — 15 in Jefferson County, six in St. Lawrence and four in Oswego — will share $85,000 in special funding that’s in addition to a $4 million increase in state budget aid for libraries statewide.
“Today’s libraries are more than just places to find a great book,” the senator said. “They are community centers that serve as excellent resources for researchers, job-seekers and families living on a budget.”
The Phoenix library is getting over $12,500 to repair its roof and enact energy-saving measures, according to Assemblyman Will Barclay.
“Our libraries provide access to vital information for the public, as well as host programs offering culturally enriching opportunities,” said Barclay. “These construction grants will greatly assist in providing the crucial infrastructure repairs our libraries need to continue serving our communities.”
More than 40 percent of library buildings across New York are over 60 years old and another 30 percent are more than three decades old. Many of the state’s libraries are unable to accommodate users with disabilities, are energy inefficient, cannot provide Internet and computer and other electronic technologies to users because of outdated and inadequate electrical wiring and do not have sufficient space to house the library’s expanding collection.
Ritchie serves on the recently re-formed State Senate Select Committee on Libraries. The Senate’s former leadership eliminated the library panel. Ritchie was appointed a member of the panel in 2012.
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