Wednesday, February 29, 2012


2012-13 Budget Overviews

March 1, 2012-- The Governor has released his proposed 2012-13 Executive Budget and has kept Library Aid funding flat at last year's final level of $79 million (including the $3 million restored by the Legislature) and has also included $14 million in Public Library Construction funds.

In addition, School Aid (as promised by the Governor earlier) has been allocated a 4% increase or $805 million in additional funding to $20.3 billion (30% of state general fund).  The caveat is that the increased aid is tied to school districts adopting the new teacher evaluation process.

CUNY and SUNY also receive same amount of general fund support as last year with the authority to spend the additional tuition increases ($113.2 million for SUNY and $66.6 million for CUNY).

Community colleges were also held at last year's levels of $2,122 per student reimbursement. Adult Literacy Education (ALE) funding was also flat with last year at $4.2 million.

State Aid for libraries represents less than one tenth of one percent of the state budget. Library use is up dramatically throughout the state.

A 2011 survey shows that 98% of libraries in New York State have helped someone find a job in the last 3 months and 85% have helped taxpayers access public assistance.

No other state funded institution serves so many residents (over 75% of New York households) with so little state funding.

Monroe County Library System

MCLS circulated over 8.5 million items in 2010. An estimated 4 million people walked through the doors of Monroe County Libraries.

Other MCLS Statistics

       8.5 million items circulated
       4,000,000 items shipped
       330,000 item holds
       40,000 kids in our summer reading programs
       E-Books-- MCLS circulated 26,129 downloadable electronic/audio books in 2009. One year later, that number increased to 43,119. In 2011, the number skyrocketed to 110,438. 

Library advocates are asking our legislators to restore library aid to 2010 levels of $84.78 million or at very least receive the same 4% increase as schools. It is not a big ask, and will be a huge investment for local communities.

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