Assemblyman Matt Slater (R,C-Yorktown) spoke at the Library Advocacy Day rally in the Legislative Office building in Albany on Tuesday, February 7, 2024. He was joined by local library directors from his district, including Putnam Valley, Patterson, Yorktown and Mahopac, as well as Westchester Library System members and Mid-Hudson Library System members. Slater is the ranking member on the Assembly Committee on Libraries and Education Technology and as the former supervisor of the Town of Yorktown, has been a strong advocate for libraries in the district.
“I am passionate about the libraries in our community and their importance for children and adults. They offer numerous services and we must ensure they are fully funded. Nearly half the libraries throughout the state are over 60 years old and it is crucial to help them stay updated and meet today’s needs. With bi-partisan support, we can accomplish that goal,” said Slater.
“Having attended my first Library Advocacy Day at the state Capitol, I was favorably impressed with how engaged and knowledgeable Assemblyman Matt Slater was on the issues facing libraries.
“We were fortunate to meet with Assemblyman Matt Slater during Library Advocacy Day at the state Capitol. He spoke eloquently about the positive power of libraries in communities and the importance of early literacy for even the youngest community members, specifically mentioning the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program at his local home library.
“We asked for his support on fully funding libraries with both capital and operating assistance. We also asked for his support for a program called "Check Out New York," where public libraries in the state would each get one pass to every state park, historic site and recreational facility operated by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation, and we would be able to lend them out to patrons– providing inclusivity for all,” said Yvonne Cech, Director of John C. Hart Memorial Library in Yorktown.
“Libraries are essential institutions that act as community anchors for the people they serve. They foster equity in education, bridge gaps in access to critical resources and innovate new services to meet the ever-evolving needs of their patrons.
“Unfortunately, sustained underfunding has impeded the ability of libraries to perform these functions. The New York Library Association (NYLA) thanks Assemblyman Slater, along with all our partners in the Legislature who joined us on Library Advocacy Day, for speaking up for libraries and supporting increases in the budget that would bring state spending for libraries in line with the actual needs of New York's library community,” said Max Prime, Director of Government Relations and Advocacy, NYLA.
“Assemblyman Slater's respect for and appreciation of libraries is apparent every time I speak with him. I am confident he will do everything in his power to advocate for the needs of our libraries, which will benefit all New Yorkers,” said Stephanie Harrison, Director of Patterson Library.