Readers Write: Library services threatened in state budget

As president of the Board of the Williston Park Library, I am writing to support our library and all public libraries in New York State.

Our library, like so many others, is the cornerstone of our community as it is accessible to everyone and provides a safe and welcoming space for all members of our community. Unfortunately, from current reports provided to us, it appears that current New York State policies may not be adequately funding local education services like public libraries.

Where we, as citizens and through our elected officials, choose to spend our collective resources serves as a testament to what we value.

As our elected representatives come together in Albany this winter to craft this year’s New York State Budget, it is my hope that they will produce a sound financial plan that will benefit every citizen, especially in the area of sufficiently funding our community libraries.

Libraries offer free and equal access to educational opportunities and are the primary source of internet access for many of our neighbors.

New Yorkers of all ages, experiences, and needs use their local library for early literacy programs; classes in adult education and financial literacy; health groups and fitness workshops; technology assistance; English and other language classes; and many other programs and services too numerous to list here.

Please join me in using the online advocacy system offered by the New York Library Association to write of your support for public libraries to the governor and the Legislature: nyla.org/advocacy.

Michael Baranello

Williston Park

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