Last week, the NYS Governor announced his proposed 2014-15 budget and it includes a 5% reduction in Library Aid, despite proposing a 4% increase in the overall Education budget.
In addition to the negative impact this cut will have upon the ability of libraries to share resources and keep pace with technology, it also demonstrates a lack of understanding of how libraries contribute to education and devalues our contribution to our communities.
There is a 21 day period when the Governor could decide to amend the budget that he has sent to the legislature. If this cut stands we will expend all our efforts to reverse the cut, and will at best, likely just remain at our current level of funding.
Libraries are now funded at 16% less than we received in 2007. If this cut remains in place will we be funded at over 20% below that level.
The present State Aid for libraries is $85.6 million, which benefits school, college, hospital and public libraries. The cut will reduce this to $81.6 million. Fully funded Library Aid ($102 million) would represent less than one tenth of one percent of the overall NYS Budget and a little more than one third of one percent of the $22 billion Education budget.
Another reduction in Library Aid is unacceptable! Please email, call or write a letter today to Governor Cuomo and express your frustration and concern with his proposed budget. Below is a link to a contact form:
If you can, please also join us at Library Advocacy Day in Albany on Wednesday, February 26, where we will meet with legislators in person and ask for their support. Free transportation provided!
Many thanks for your support,
FLLS Executive Director