Friday, February 06, 2009

For New Yorkers: Quick summary of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries conference call, Jan. 30

I realized last night that I had not written any notes on this conference call, which occurred a week ago. As you can imagine, we spent a lot of time talking about the financial situation facing libraries within New York State. As it stands now, the State budget for 2009-2010, as proposed by the Governor, does include $18 million in cuts for libraries. Those cuts would impact public libraries, library systems, and other organizations that provide services to libraries (who then provide services to everyone in NYS). For some, the cut could be a decrease 20-30% of their funding from the State. These cuts could be devastating and we know of libraries that are already cutting staff, service hours, etc. We also know that public libraries are serving more users, who are turning to the library during our economic downturn, so these cuts are coming at the worst time. (And no, there isn't a good time for cutting library budgets.)

So with library budgets firmly in mind...

On Feb. 24, members of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries and others, including Regent James Dawson and new State Librarian Bernard (Bernie) Margolis, will be visiting legislators in order to advocate for our libraries.

On March 10, librarians, library workers, and library supporters from across New York State will converge on Albany to visit legislators and lobby for our libraries. (The March 10th event is organized by NYLA.)

We hope that other library supports will visit their legislators, write to them or call them and deliver the message that our libraries need to be adequately funded in order to survive.

Our libraries are part of the education system in our communities. Our libraries...
  • provide information to for-profit and not-for-profit businesses who need that information in order to be competitive.
  • provide information for job seekers as well as those who are trying to live the American dream.
  • are at the center of our communities and we cannot let them disappear.
If you have questions about how to advocate for libraries within New York State, please contact your public library or any of the 3R Councils.

Technorati tags: , , ,

No comments: