September 17, 2014

New York: “Budgets Challenge Libraries, a ‘Point of Integration’ for Immigrants”

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From The New York Times:

Financing New York City’s three public library systems is an annual set piece of political theater, where City Hall proposes reduced budgets that are deplored and haggled over until the City Council restores much of the sum. According to a report last January by the Center for an Urban Future, since 2008 the Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens libraries have endured cuts of nearly $65 million.

Library advocates said the current allocation of $106.7 million for all three systems is the first not to have cuts, though five years of decreased funds despite increased public demand has taken a toll — hours have been reduced, capital improvement has been postponed, and much-needed employees have not been hired.

“The libraries often can’t plan beyond a year because they don’t know what the budget is going to be,” said Julie Sandorf, president of the Charles H. Revson Foundation, which recently gave $10,000 grants to the Sheepshead Bay branch and four others. “It’s not like schools or parks, who start with a set budget. The libraries start from zero.”

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.