A Message From Dottie Hiebing: Recent and Pending Cuts to State Library Aid

A Message From Dottie Hiebing: Recent and Pending Cuts to State Library Aid

In Albany's most recent round of budget negotiations, New York State Aid for Libraries was cut by 11.25% across the board, posing significant challenges for METRO and many of our member libraries.

Unfortunately, there may be more bad news to come. We've recently learned that, for the fifth time in two years , yet another cutback to the 25 State Aid for Libraries programs has been proposed for the 2010-2011 state budget. The Executive Budget Proposal contains an additional 2.8% reduction, and is under consideration in the legislature in advance of the April 1 deadline for the new budget and the beginning of the new fiscal year.

If this next round of budget cuts comes to pass, State Aid for Libraries will be $18 million or 18% less than in 2007-08. No other educational institutions have been cut five times to address the State's budgetary shortfalls. Another downgrading in aid levels will bring a continued decline in library services to our community—including closure of some library systems. Continued cuts will also result in further losses in matching federal funds that have already cost New York over $2 million in Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants.

METRO is continuing to do everything in our power to see that libraries—which have sacrificed more than their fair share—are not forced to endure additional reductions.

But we need your help. The time is now to speak up loud and clear on behalf of supporting and preserving State funding for library aid. Please contact your legislators today to say, "Enough is enough."? Our advocacy webpage provides resources for locating your elected representatives and links to library advocacy resources. You can also contact METRO's Special Projects Manager Robert Schmidt at (212) 228-2320 x 14 or rschmidt@metro.org for advocacy tips and assistance in locating your legislators.

Sam Streed
Author: Sam Streed
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