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Assemblyman
Joseph S. Saladino
Assembly District 9
 
Support Our Public Libraries
March 20, 2006

Libraries are vital tools for enhancing literacy and higher learning in communities across New York state. Public libraries strive to provide a full range of services and resources to meet the needs of all who live and work in their communities. Your local library is a wealth of knowledge holding books, magazines, internet access, reference materials, books-on-tape, audio cassettes, CDs, videocassettes, DVDs and CD-ROMs, and children’s learning equipment. If your local library does not have what you’re looking for, they can usually find and provide it.

Many libraries also run year-round adult and family programs, with lectures, workshops, concerts and many other events held right in the facility. Special children’s programs, like story hours, are also popular because they educate and entertain children of all ages.

Libraries are priceless centers in every community because they promote reading and provide educational resources to people from all walks of life. However, New York’s libraries have faced increasing costs due to inflation and the addition of vital services. As state budget negotiations intensify, it is essential we remember to invest in our public library systems.

It is imperative these institutions receive the funding and support they need so they can continue to be pillars of education and information. I personally have brought numerous grants to all the libraries in the 12th Assembly District.

My Assembly minority colleagues and I have just introduced legislation that would earmark an additional $2 million in state aid for library support and rehabilitation. This legislation would also update the formula used when calculating state funding for libraries by utilizing the 2000 census. The state currently uses the antiquated 1990 census results. I have also written a bill which mandates that municipalities such as libraries and schools pay the lowest residential unit rate on all energy provided by utilities.

My colleagues and I are carrying out a petition drive in support of this legislation. For a copy of the petition, please contact my district office at (516) 844-0635. I urge everyone to show their support for local libraries.