Library Reps Poised to Fight $100M in Cuts
Monday, May 14, 2012
Representatives from the city’s three library systems will testify before the City Council Monday about how the mayor’s proposed $100 million in cuts would impact patrons.
The New York Public Library, which covers Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, said it would be forced to close 12 of 87 branches should the budget cuts go through.
"We'd have to cut back from six or seven days a week to four days. We'd have significantly fewer programs for kids," said NYPL president Anthony Marx. "We'd reduce our available computers. The staffing level would be cut dramatically."
Marx said the city's libraries have been hemorrhaging money for years, since the city has reduced their funding by 28 percent over the last five years.
This year's proposed budget cut is higher than last year's.
"It's roughly $20 million greater than last year's proposed budget cut," said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, chair of the committee that covers libraries. "That's staggering."
Most of last year's $81 million was restored during negotiations.
The Bloomberg administration and the City Council have until June 30 to reach a budget agreement.