The statement below is from the from the presidents of the City’s three public library systems:
- Anthony W. Marx of The New York Public Library
- Linda Johnson of the Brooklyn Public Library
- Dennis Walcott of the Queens Public Library
We are extremely grateful to Mayor de Blasio, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and the entire City Council for investing $33 million in additional expense funding for the City’s public libraries. This crucial support will allow us to continue providing essential services in the face of rising costs, growing footprints, and increased demand.We recognize the passionate advocacy of Speaker Johnson, Cultural Affairs & Libraries Chair Jimmy Van Bramer and Finance Chair Danny Dromm, who have prioritized our vital institutions in a difficult budget year. On behalf of our millions of patrons and the hundreds of thousands who signed letters, called their representatives, and attended rallies to fight for their libraries, thank you for standing with us. We also applaud our staff members and union leaders for galvanizing tremendous support citywide.
You have collectively ensured that public libraries—which offer opportunity to all and are the heart of a fair and equitable city—remain strong at a critical time in our history, when New Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable, need them the most.
Background About FY 20 Budget Season
- The City’s three library systems requested $35 million in additional expense funding in FY 20.
- Libraries received support from nationally-syndicated radio host Angela Yee, best-selling author Jennifer Egan, and New Yorker / NYPL patron Sarah Jessica Parker
- Additionally, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson joined libraries for a story time on the steps of City Hall with about 50 kids and their caregivers.
- Libraries also released a poll by firm Change Research that showed how New Yorkers need and care about their libraries.
- Patrons signed over 100,000 letters to city officials (either in branches or at investinlibraries.org) to support libraries. They also signed shared over 5,000 online sticky notes explaining why they love libraries