5/19/13

The City's Public Libraries Threatened by Cuts

On Wednesday, May 22, at 1:00 PM, advocacy group Save New York Libraries and other library supporters, including Council Member Vinnie Gentile, chair of the Council's Select Committee on Libraries, other elected representatives, library administrators, union leaders, library staff, advocates and school children, will host "Children Speaking Out: a Rally in Support of Full Funding for the New York City Library System in the FY 2014 Budget", on the steps of City Hall in Downtown Manhattan.

The Bloomberg administration has proposed $106 million in funding cuts to the city's public libraries, the deepest in the history of New York City.

If the proposed cuts, a 35% reduction over last year's levels, go through, it would close sixty libraries, lay off hundreds of workers and drastically cut library hours and services.

Losing libraries means fewer safe places for seniors, teens and kids; the loss of ESL instruction; fewer tools for small business owners; reduced access to free public computers and computer instruction; reduced access to job search and training resources; and the loss of free books, storytime, DVDs, free concerts and other community events.

The Bloomberg administration's war of attrition with the NYPL, in which a new battle is fought each year, has resulted in reduced hours, resources and jobs -- as the city's need for libraries and the services they offer has grown.

Because library advocates know that the city's need for libraries is real, they fight back with all they have each year.

For more information and volunteer opportunities, visit the Save New York Libraries website.

Panel: Knowledge of the Future:  The Changing Face of New York City's Public Library Systems

The Historic Districts Council will host a panel discussion, "Knowledge of the Future: The Changing Face of New York City’s Public Library Systems, on Wednesday, May 29 at 6 PM at Steelcase, 4 Columbus Circle #2 in Manhattan.

The panel will discuss plans currently under consideration for New York City libraries and what they might mean for the future of America’s largest public library system.

Invited speakers include: Dr. Jeffrey Kroessler, Librarian and Urban Historian, John Jay College, Scott Sherman, contributing writer and editor, The Nation, and David Giles, Research Director at the Center for an Urban Future.

Free. To RSVP, contact hdc@hdc.org. Space is limited.

For more information, contact HDC preservation advocate Ashley Shedd at 212-614-9107.

What successive Bloomberg budget cuts have done to the Brooklyn Public Library [Daily News.]

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