Giving books to kids is one of my favorite parts of being your representative in Congress 

October 12, 2019

As history continues to swirl around the White House and Congress down in Washington, our local students and educators have been hard at work in our Capital Region classrooms, at local libraries and beyond. This October district work period, I had the pleasure of visiting with some of these students and their parents, teachers and other educators to do one of my favorite things as your Congressman. 

Several times in these past few weeks I got to visit local schools and libraries to donate books my office has collected through the Library of Congress (LOC) Surplus Books Program. This wonderful program makes surplus Library of Congress books available to educational institutions, public agencies, and nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations with the goal of building local library collections.

  • On Thursday, I visited Lansingburgh Library in Troy to donate 28 children’s, test-prep and young adult books valued at a combined $580. I also had the delightful privilege of joining Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company for the library’s Dance Story Hour with kids and their caregivers.
  • Later that day, I stopped by Cohoes Middle School to donate 31 books valued at more than $600. As requested, many of these books focus on sports, health and wellness, a fittings subject since many of the students are on modified sports teams.

Since we started our Surplus Books Program in Fall 2017, I have delivered 1,472 books to 48 locations across five counties in our region, with a total book value of more than $33,000.

When I bring these books for donation, I get to visit with students, teachers and others involved in lifting literacy and forging a brighter future for our Capital Region communities. Oftentimes, the students will ask me questions about what I do and what it’s like to work in Congress. Their questions often raise timely issues such as climate change, gun control and even global diplomacy. It fills my heart to see these bright young minds from our region so invested in the local, national and global challenges we face.

Request books for your local school, library or non-profit!

My office has received and filled many book donation requests over the past two years, and I hope to deliver at least a half-dozen more donations next year. Anyone from our area can request books for a school, library, public agency or non-profit organization. The books can be of almost any genre or age range, though our most popular requests include children’s books, text books and test prep books.

Request books by filling out this form: Surplus Books Request Form

Reading can be a valued source of knowledge and wisdom throughout our lives. Through the stories we discover and share through reading, we can open ourselves to new and fascinating places, people, ideas, cultures, histories and much more. A love of such stories connects us all, regardless of our age, race, religion or ethnicity. I am lucky to have these special opportunities to help foster that love in our communities and in the students who will grow up to lead and carry our great nation onward.

As always, thank you for reading.

Your friend,