Broome County Public Library makes big announcement at their 20th anniversary celebration


BINGHAMTON, NY – A 20th anniversary celebration of the Broome County Public Library, that was postponed by one year due to the pandemic, was an opportunity to make some major announcements today.

The library was built in 2000 on the site of a former Giant Market on Court Street to replace the aging and undersized Carnegie Library which is now home to the SUNY Broome culinary school.

In 2015, it was renamed the Jeffrey P Kraham Broome County Public Library in honor of the County Executive who oversaw its development.

Kraham was dying of cancer at the time.

His son Jared, who was just elected Binghamton’s next mayor, and Kraham’s widow Wallis both attended today’s commemoration.

Wallis has agreed to be an ambassador for the library, encouraging others to support the organization through donations and volunteering.

She says Jeff was committed to leaving a legacy for the community.

“What it shows, and a lot of what my husband Jeff believed, is that local governments can tackle projects as big as a new library, and in doing so, can serve residents long after they’re out of office, and in Jeff’s case, long after their years with us,” says Wallis.

The county also officially introduced Josias Bartram as the library’s new director.

He took the position at the height of the pandemic and has embarked on an interior renovation of the structure.

That includes new carpeting and painting.

Bartram also announced that the library is following a national trend in doing away with overdue book fees.

“Overdue fines discourage the use of libraries and especially discourage the use of libraries for children. Any of you who are parents know that often being a parent, things get chaotic, things can get lost. So, it’s very often parents who are not returning items quite on time and those fines build up,” says Bartram.

Bartram says past overdue fines will be forgiven and that the library staff will work with patrons who have bills for lost or damaged books.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar used the occasion to thank library workers for their dedication during the pandemic, many of whom assisted the health department with contact tracing.

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