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Guest Column: State Sen. Tom O'Mara
"Local libraries are worth getting to know"
ALBANY, April 16, 2018 -- Let’s add a few footnotes to last week’s observance of National Library Week.
-- 75% said their local library plays an important role in finding trustworthy information;
-- Nearly 90% said their library plays an important role in creating educational opportunities; and
-- Nearly 50% said they have pursued personal learning activities offered by their library.
On this last point, the 2018-19 state budget is a strong one for libraries. Although Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed to cut state library funding this year, the Legislature rejected the governor’s cuts and, instead, increased aid. The final budget provides $96.6 million in state aid to libraries, including a $34 million investment in capital and construction aid.
Prior to the law’s enactment, libraries were unable to access this funding specifically for broadband purposes. That was a serious shortcoming in the program, particularly for libraries in rural areas and smaller communities where they are often the No. 1 point of Internet access. Libraries are the leading digital literacy educators, a role that will only become more prominent. Expanding library construction aid in this fashion has been an investment in economic growth and workforce development, overall educational quality, and it produces a substantial return by making an enduring, positive difference for many local communities.
Photo in text: State Senator Tom O'Mara
Top row (from left): Dennis Fagan, Jim Howell, Michael Lausell, Van Harp
Bottom row: Carl Blowers, David Reed, Phil Barnes, Mark Rondinaro
Dennis Fagan, Tyrone 607-292-3687
David M. Reed
Phil Barnes, Watkins Glen, 481-0482
County Clerk: Linda Compton, 535-8133
Sheriff: William Yessman, 535-8222
Undersheriff: Breck Spaulding, 535-8222
County Treasurer: Harriett Vickio, 535-8181
District Attorney: Joseph Fazzary, 535-8383
State, Federal Officials for Schuyler County
Sen. Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate
Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand
United States Senate
State Senator Tom O'Mara -- Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates, western Tompkins, Enfield, Ithaca (Town and City), Newfield, Ulysses(Trumansburg)
Room 812, Legislative Office Building
Assemblyman Phil Palmesano--
Steuben, Schuyler, Yates
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869