Library Advocacy Day 2017 was a successful ‘shout out’ to legislators about the value of libraries to their communities. Trustees and students joined library professionals to bring a simple message to NY legislators: Libraries are education!
- Restore 4 million in library aid and match the 4% increase budgeted for education.
- Invest 50 million in construction aid to retrofit library infrastructure – a goal championed by the governor.
Reeling from the governor’s budget cut, library advocates told their own stories to highlight programs and services that would be lost under the proposed budget cuts. As constituents, they expressed expectations that their representatives support increased funding for libraries as they prepare Senate and Assembly budgets.
Some 800 advocates filled the Well of the Legislative Office Building for a noontime Rally. One of several speakers, Assemblywoman Michele Solages advised advocates to speak out in a loud voice because librarians don’t ask who you are or where you’re from – they ask what do you need! Libraries offer equal access to internet information to everyone and, more than ever, libraries are a safe place for everyone.
NYLA Executive Director Jeremy Johanessen ended his remarks by encouraging advocates to continue championing libraries beyond this one day in Albany: “Everyone you speak to has the potential to be a library advocate.” Check out NYLA.org/advocacy and #NYLALAD17.