Assemblymember Didi Barrett to Chair Committee on Libraries and Education Technology

September 29, 2017

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has named Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D - Columbia, Dutchess) to chair the Assembly Committee on Libraries and Education Technology. Assemblymember Barrett has been a longtime advocate of libraries, including working to secure funding in the state budget, and has also worked with the Mid-Hudson Library System to create an annual Women’s History booklet.

“Didi is a highly dedicated public servant who is strongly committed to improving the lives of her constituents and all the people of this state,” said Speaker Heastie. “These qualities, in addition to her longtime interest in providing libraries throughout the state with the resources, literary content and technology needed to effectively meet the public’s challenging information needs of this 21st century make her the right person to serve as chair of the Committee on Library and Education Technology.”

“Our libraries are crucial for providing educational, economic and even social resources to our communities,” Barrett said. “Now more than ever, people of all ages and needs are turning to their local libraries for everything from knitting bees to job searches. As new chair of the Assembly Committee on Libraries and Education Technology, I will be a voice promoting the importance of our local libraries not just to our communities but to all of New York State.”

“Assemblymember Barrett has provided outstanding support for libraries,” said Tom Sloan, Executive Director of the Mid-Hudson Library System. “She promotes libraries as essential educational services which advance the importance of reading and learning. Libraries in the Hudson Valley will greatly benefit from her position as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Libraries & Education Technology.”

Assemblymember Barrett helped secure $95.6 million in the 2017-18 state budget for New York’s libraries. In addition, the budget provides an increase of $10 million in library capital funding for a total of $24 million. These funds will ensure that public libraries can renovate dated facilities and continue providing vital services to the communities they serve, especially those in rural areas.

The annual Women’s History Booklet that Assemblymember Barrett provides to all the libraries in her district each March has always been a welcome presence to the local libraries.