Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente was joined on Tuesday by the directors of the Mid York Library System, Jervis and Utica Public Libraries and Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter to announce county-funded library initiatives.

Picente announced $47,500 in county funding to support library initiatives in his 2018 budget address.

The funding was made possible due to the gaming revenue collected as part of the Oneida Indian Nation settlement agreement.

“Our libraries are an irreplaceable resource to this community,” Picente said. “Thanks to our partnership with Mr. Halbritter and the Oneida Nation, we have been able to increase funding to our libraries over the past few years. This money has led to the development of new programs such as those announced today and has helped immensely to strengthen the literacy of our youth and adults.”

The money will be used to fund a Books for Babies program, increase the collection of e-Books and digital audio books at the libraries and to establish a Summer Reading Program.

The Books for Babies program will provide a free book to every Oneida County newborn.