How does LTA measure the success of the 2015 Library Advocacy Day?
February 25 saw more than 775 library trustees, professionals, and student groups converge on the State Legislative Building – the largest attendance for an Advocacy Day. That translates to a record number of personal sessions with individual legislators.
Enthusiastic advocates filled the “Well” for a noon rally. Several legislators took time to announce their support for budget resolutions for increased library aid. Long standing library champion Hugh Farley, Senate Chair of Libraries and Education Technology, pledged Senate support for increased funding for libraries. Other speakers included Fred Thiele, outgoing Assembly Library Chair, and Long Island legislators, Michaela Solanges and Joseph Soladino.
It was the library world’s first look at Tom Abananti, newly appointed Assembly Chair of Libraries and Education Technology. He spoke of libraries as a place to learn and a critical part of education that should be funded as a part of New York’s educational system. He referenced Governor Cuomo’s proposal that the surplus be designated for infrastructure and construction and added “libraries are a ‘road’ forward and a ‘bridge’ to the future.”
Advocates carried the library message to Albany. The Senate and Assembly have demonstrated support for library funding and construction aid through their one-house budget resolutions. The real test is whether the Senate and Assembly hold libraries as priority throughout the budget process.