The New York Public Library will receive a $4.4 million increase in city operating funds for Fiscal Year 2015, according to the new city budget, unveiled today by Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and the New York City Council.
The increase – the first for the system since Fiscal Year 2008 – brings NYPL’s total city operating budget to about $144 million. It is part of a $10 million increase in funding to all three of the city’s Library systems, including the Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Library.
“It is extremely satisfying that the Mayor and City Council see the value in the city’s libraries, and understand that New Yorkers desperately need the services that we provide, from internet access to technology training to job search resources to English language classes,” said New York Public Library President Tony Marx. “The funding increase will certainly help us continue to provide free education, knowledge and opportunity to all New Yorkers. We are thankful to city officials for their dedication to and investment in libraries, a critical and irreplaceable city resource, and hope that this is a first step towards restoring our funding to Fiscal Year 2008 levels.”
The increase in funding comes after several years of cuts – since Fiscal Year 2008, The New York Public Library’s city operating budget has been cut $24 million. This year, the Library launched a grassroots advocacy campaign – including public letter-writing – to advocate for the restoration of at least some of that money. The public wrote about 130,000 letters at branches and online to support The New York Public Library.
The new city budget will go into effect on July 1, 2014, the start of Fiscal Year 2015.