April 1999

The Trustee communicates issues affecting libraries and library services. Once a library and systems join LTA, all their trustees automatically receive this quarterly publication published by LTA. To learn more about membership in LTA, Click Here.

Money Talks

By Kenneth E. Wilbur, NYSALB Trustee, Legislative Chair

April 1999 issue of Trustee

The governor's budget has been released and the funding for libraries is appropriated at $88.5 million. This is the amount received for 1998 which is the full funding of Chapter 917 of the Education Law. This amount is considerably less than the library community's goal of $149.1 million.

The governor's budget was created in a manner that permits only increases or decreases in budget funding adjustments. New programs or appropriations can not be added, but would have to be introduced in a new appropriation bill. This method usually does not meet with much success. Although the Electronic Doorway Library (EDL) bill has been partially funded by this method ($2 million in 1997 and $3 million in 1998), the $11.4 million total has never had the support of the legislature in the separate bill procedure.

This means that the focus of funding has to be on the Assembly and Senate to increase the funding for libraries in this budget. This can be accomplished by the task of increased letter writing, phone calls and visits to your legislator's local office to plead the cause for libraries. The annual organized effort, known as LIBRARY DAY is March 23rd. This is an excellent opportunity to visit your legislator in Albany to voice your library concerns.

What can we lose? Only increased funding for libraries in New York State. In the promotion of education and knowledge, libraries are a primary element.

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