Sunday, May 09, 2010
New York Public Library faces harshest budget cut in its history
"The most severe budget cut ever faced by The New York Public Library was announced on May 6 as part of the Mayor's Executive Budget. 'The proposed cut of $36,800,000 is even worse than the cuts to the Library in the 1970s, when New York was on the brink of bankruptcy,' Library President Paul LeClerc said. 'If funding is not restored we will be forced to drastically reduce critical library services for New Yorkers. Ten libraries would have to close; those that remain open would have their hours reduced to an average of just 4 days per week. The cut would also result in the loss of 736 staff positions - 36% of our workforce. Today record numbers of New Yorkers are relying on their libraries for free job information, Internet access, computer classes, business information, after-school programs, and much more. This budget would force us to reduce or eliminate services at the time they are needed most. That's why we look forward to working with the City Council and the Mayor to restore funding for libraries.'"