The budget agreement includes $2.615 million in additional Library Aid as well as $1.3 million in funding to those libraries impacted by the MTA Payroll tax (in lieu of exempting those libraries from the payroll tax). In addition, the Legislature moved $200 million from competitive school grants to formula funding in School Aid, providing more direct aid to schools.
CSEA and AFSCME members who work in our libraries across the state number in the tens of thousands. Congratulations to library advocates across the state who helped to ensure that our elected representatives understood the value and importance of libraries. Our voices in Albany made a difference. Not advocating for strong libraries and a strong state library system would devastating to the quality of life for New Yorkers and wreak havoc on our fragile economy in our local communities. Even though funding is a slight increase from last year and appears essentially flat over the past several years— libraries across New York State will have an easier time managing their own budgets compared to previous year's past.
We have a lot of library champions to thank—but let’s start with New York Library Association’s former executive director Michael Borges. Bravo to Michael for all his tireless efforts and showing great vision. We wish him luck in his new venture and will miss him greatly. NYLA’s new interim executive director is Jeremy Johannesen.