Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WF-Ithaca) announced that she has been named Chair of the New York State Assembly’s Libraries and Education Technology Committee. She was elevated to the post this week by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
“Libraries serve all members of a community and their doors are always open to the public,” said Lifton. “After too many years of stagnant state funding, and in this tough economic time, libraries have been forced to cut programs and staff. My job as chair is to ensure that libraries across New York have access to sufficient funding for resources and construction projects, as well as increasing accessibility for persons with disabilities.”
New York State’s 7,000 libraries are among the largest and greatest libraries in the nation. Our largest library – the New York State Library – contains over ten million volumes and is among the top research institutions in the world. New York’s libraries provide support for students, teachers, researchers, readers, job seekers, entrepreneurs, and many others who need assistance in finding and using information.
“The fact is, libraries are institutions that are integral to learning, and we cannot overlook their importance. They continue to be essential places for research and the exchange of knowledge and ideas,” said Lifton. “I will make it my priority to make sure that libraries have continued access to funding, ensuring that these critical institutions will maintain their vital role in our communities.”
Lifton also points out that libraries have become more than just places for education and research. “Families affected by the current economy are spending less on entertainment. Libraries provide a place for families to go where they can borrow books, audio CDs, and movies and just relax and read.”
Assemblywoman Lifton also serves on the Agriculture, Economic Development, Election Law, Environmental Conservation, Higher Education, and Mental Health Committees.