May 20, 2022

New York: Niagara Falls Public Library Struggles To Cope With Funding Cuts

From the Buffalo News:

Two vacant part-time jobs at the library have been cut coming into the new year as the city deals with a tight budget that prompted a property tax increase.

The library also is facing potentially millions of dollars in fixes to its facility that officials say are needed and have been proposed, but whether or when they may take place is muddied by the financial squeeze facing the city government.

The job cuts were made even though the City Council restored almost all of the nearly $76,000 Mayor Paul A. Dyster had proposed removing from the city’s contribution to the library system’s budget.


Michelle Petrazzoulo, the library’s executive director, said that without lawmakers restoring the funding there would have had to be further cuts in services.

The teen services librarian [one of the jobs cut] was the only staffer in the teen services department, which provided a technology room with nine computers, as well as a weekly program for teens. The room wasn’t always open because it required oversight and the job was part time.

Petrazzoulo goes on to make an excellent point:

“To me it makes no sense. You have all of this strength in your children’s services and then you focus on adults, but if (teens) don’t continue to use the library, then they may not be library users when they’re adults. And when they’re adults, they’re taxpayers,” she said. “So if you don’t carry people all the way through, then you lose that support system.”

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.