Library Advocates Descend on State Capitol to Protest 10% Cuts

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ALBANY, NY (02/28/2011)(readMedia)-- The New York Library Association will be holding its annual Library Advocacy Day on Tuesday, March 1st in Meeting Room Six of the Empire State Plaza.

Several hundred librarians, trustees and library supporters are expected to come to Albany to meet with their state legislators regarding the Governor's proposed 10% cut in Library Aid, that will reduce funding from $83.45 million in 2010 to $76 million in 2011 (an $8 million reduction). This will be the sixth cut in less than three years that has brought Library Aid down to below 1994 levels.

"Libraries have once again been targeted for disproportionate cuts in funding, despite increases in use and the reliance on library services by the unemployed to find and apply for jobs and public assistance programs", stated Marcia Eggleston, President of the New York Library Association.

"The cut to Library Aid is both disproportionate in its size and counterintuitive in its intent. The proposed cut to Municipal Aid (AIM) is only 2% and the proposed cut to School Aid is 7.3%, yet Library Aid (also a form of local government assistance) has been targeted for a 10% cut.", commented Michael J. Borges, NYLA Executive Director.

"State policymakers from the Governor on down have been calling for government to share resources, conduct cooperative purchasing and providing inter-municipal delivery of services. Libraries and library systems have been doing this for the past 50 years, and yet we are being targeted for cuts, instead of being held up as a model for the cost-effective delivery of public services," continued Mr. Borges.

Library Advocacy Day begins with Legislative Meet and Greet from 8-9:30 a.m., then library advocates will visit legislative offices and return to Meeting Room Six at 11:30 a.m. for the Advocacy Day Rally and to hear comments from Senators Hugh Farley and Suzi Oppenheimer as well Assemblyman Bob Reilly and authors Elizabeth Levy and Marilyn Johnson.