January 28, 2022

Presidents of New York City’s Libraries Testify On Proposed $106.7 Million Budget Cuts

UPDATE 3/11/2013: Video of the complete hearing (including discussion with the committee) is now available online.

You can access it here.
The portion of the hearing about libraries begins at 1:20:35 in the video.

If the video above does not work try the link on this page.


Here’s the full text of the joint testimony given at a preliminary city council committee hearing yesterday to discuss a proposed $106.7 million cut to New York City’s libraries.

The joint testimony came from:

  • Linda Johnson, President of the Brooklyn Public Library
  • Tony Marx, President of the New York Public Library
  • Tom Galante, President of Queens Library

From the Testimony:

Despite our record of resourcefulness, this year’s City budget proposal is the largest reduction NYC libraries have ever faced: A 35% reduction below current funding, or $106.7 million. This is a staggering 51% below 2008, when every city library was funded to be open at least 6 days a week. This comes at a critical time when library usage and demand is clearly on the rise. We cannot sustain another funding reduction. There is nowhere else to cut. In short, the effects on library hours and workforce will be drastic. Citywide:

  • 1,445 staff members will be laid off and another 124 lost to attrition.
  • At least 66 libraries will be closed altogether and dozens of others will have their hours drastically slashed.
  • Today, the average library in New York City is open about 44 hours per week. This proposal would bring that average down to a dismal 22 hours per week. This is certainly not sufficient to serve working families and students.

Read the Full Text Testimony

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.