With the coming of autumn, thoughts turn to the rapidly approaching new year, and with it a new Executive Budget for New York State.
In each of his last three budgets Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made a baffling decision; repeatedly removing increases in funding enacted by the Legislature during the previous year.
The governor’s repeated $5 million budget cut to Library Aid demonstrates either ignorance or apathy to the vital role that libraries play in every community.
Despite the rapidly evolving function of libraries in meeting the needs of all New Yorkers, last year Gov. Cuomo proposed Library Aid at just 1 percent above where it had been funded two decades earlier in 1999.
In 1999, less than one third of public libraries had a publicly accessible computer – and today nearly every public library is the primary source of access to the internet for nearly a quarter of households earning below $50,000 annually.
With libraries being increasingly called upon to assist state government in its initiatives (the upcoming 2020 Census is but one example), it’s time for Gov. Cuomo to update his thinking and actions about libraries.
He needs to make a bold new investment in our libraries to provide them with the needed resources to provide all New Yorkers with 21st Century library service.
Libraries are a cornerstone of New York’s education and civic infrastructure. Governor Cuomo needs to invest in libraries.
Join me in speaking up for our libraries, sign up as a library champion at nyla.org/advocacy
Hillside Public Library Board of Trustees:
Sloan Vahldieck –President, Sabera Saadullah – Vice President, Richard Bursig,
Peter Pinto, Maura Rossi