Speak Up for NYS Library Aid 2017-2018

Please join us at Advocacy Day on March 1!
Please be sure to stop and visit LTA’s welcome table.  You will be provided with a “trustee” sticker which you can wear to help you stand out as you attend your meetings. When trustees speak, legislators take notice.  

Meanwhile, please take a moment to send an automatic e-mail to your local legislators and legislative leaders (you will have an opportunity to edit the letter before it gets sent).  Please take action now: Click Here.

Libraries are educational institutions.  They are chartered by the Board of Regents, and library aid is administered by the NYS Department of Education.  As educational institutions, libraries deserve to be funded like other any other educational entity, and LTA, in collaboration with NYLA and other library organizations, is asking legislators to increase state library aid in proportion to increases in education funding.  

Right now, we have an uphill battle.

 Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget for 2017-2018 cut  library aid by 4%.

If you take a moment to look at the graphs provided by NYLA, you can see that more than $111 million in aid has been withheld since fiscal year 2007-2008.  This past fiscal year library aid was $95.6 million — 2006 levels!

You are encouraged to show the graphs to your local legislators as you advocate for libraries. The graphs provide a great visual tool of how large the discrepancy is between what Education Law mandates and what libraries actually receive when it come to state funding.

As you advocate and encourage legislators to take a serious look at how underfunded NYS libraries are, here is some additional information provided by NYLA to help state your case:

 

 

 

Background

  • New York State Education Law requires Library Aid for FY 2017-2018 to be $102.6M. Total state funding in the FY2016-17 enacted budget was $95.6M, placing library aid at 2006 funding levels.

  • More than $111M in statutory State Library Aid has been withheld since FY2007-2008.

Messaging

  • Library usage and demand for services are surging statewide

  • A January 2015 Siena Poll found library usage is up: 10% statewide, 15% among women respondents aged 18-34, nearly 15% among African-American respondents, 15% among Latino respondents, and among all income demographics, with usage up 20% for those households making less than $50,000 annually.

  • Libraries are a core component of our state’s educational infrastructure – LIBRARIES ARE EDUCATION

  • A January 2015 Siena Poll found that 94% of New Yorkers say their local library is an important part of our education system, with nearly half saying library aid should increase proportionately to increase in education funding.

  • Libraries are chartered by the same Board of Regents that oversees schools, colleges, BOCES and other educational institutions, and library aid is administered through the NYS Department of Education.

  • Libraries are the leading digital literacy educators in New York State. When schools close at the end of each day, each week and each school year, libraries remain open to New York’s children and families.

  • Libraries are critical for access and equality.

  • The same January 2015 Siena poll found for nearly 33% of African-American and Latino respondents, and 25% of households making less than $50,000 annually, the public library is their primary source of internet access;

  • Of the respondents who have used their local public library for job seeking or career building programs in the last six months, 53% were African-American, and 40% were households making less than $50,000 annually

  • Libraries and library systems are models of shared services and collaborative planning. According to the State Education Department, local communities realize $7 in services for every $1 allocated in state aid.

Printer Friendly Version of the NYLA 2017 BUDGET PRIORITY – LIBRARY AID (PDF) (12-1)

LTA thanks NYLA for the bullet pointed information contained in this article.

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