Let's Make This Happen

March 2013

It’s an old chestnut that we’re all tired of hearing, nevermind repeating ourselves: libraries are underfunded and need more money. Having just returned from Library Advocacy Day in Albany, I know we have an opportunity to help ourselves with this issue, though it’s going to require us to take some action. 

What’s On The Table

While in Albany, I learned that we have a good chance to continue making progress toward the restoration of library funding -- but we’ll need to get directly involved to make it happen. Everyone may love libraries, but legislators are busy people, and also constantly assaulted by constituents for funding and favors. We need to make our voices and arguments heard. 

What We Can Do To Help

There are two activities at the top of this list: 

  1. Contact Your Elected Officials. Click here to visit the NYLA tool that streamlines this process. 
  2. Activate The Cause Virtually & Digitally. Click here to visit the NYLA web page that provides direction for Twitter and Facebook activity, assets for distribution, and summary information and points-of-view. 

Talking Points

Both the NY3Rs and the NYLA provide extensive background information on this subject, ranging from the broad to the technical. We offer our summary points below. 

  • Financial support for libraries has decreased 20% since 2007
  • Last year, total items borrowed increased 11%
  • Borrowing saved New Yorkers $1.8 billion last year
  • More than half of all New York state residents have a library card
  • Digital literacy has never been more important, and the most vulnerable members of our communities depend on libraries for training and internet access

There is no shortage of compelling information and perspectives in the referenced documents, but these are our favorites -- they strike to the heart of the issue, and can be easily understood by anyone. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. METRO has always been a strong advocate for our member libraries, but we need your voices in the mix. Let’s make this happen!

Thank you for reading. 

Jason Kucsma
Executive Director, METRO