An Update on the New York State Budget
With New York State budget negotiations underway, the Metropolitan New York Library Council has been a vocal presence in Albany on behalf of the protection and preservation of library funding. Although New York State has received more than $24 billion in federal stimulus funding, including $2.4 billion for school aid over the next two years, Library Aid remains in jeopardy, according to a recent legislative alert from the New York Library Association.
As we have previously reported, libraries have already contributed their fair share toward reducing New York State’s budget deficit. Over the past year, Library Aid has been reduced twice from $102 million to $99 million. Between 1998 and 2006, libraries and library systems received no increases, while other state-supported educational institutions received generous increases.
On March 10, METRO staff joined with library advocates from across the state to meet with elected officials at Library Lobby Day in Albany, making the case to our legislators that the $18 million in proposed cuts to statewide Library Aid should be restored. The proposed reductions come at a time when library usage is on the rise.
Join METRO in protecting library services by contacting your elected representatives in the State Senate and Assembly to let them know how your community, institution, and constituency will be harmed by further cuts to New York State’s libraries and library systems. Remind your representatives that the library community has long been a stellar example of regional cooperation, resource sharing, and the provision of cost-effective, user-friendly services that save tax dollars.
Act now to ensure that libraries will be protected in the next round of budget negotiations. For more information or assistance in framing your comments to your elected officials, contact Dottie Hiebing, Executive Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 212-228-2320 x 10.