Cuts Could Place City Libraries at Bottom
June 2nd, 2009
If proposed library cuts go through, the city will rank the lowest of the nation’s 22 largest library systems in terms of average operating hours, according to a survey by Councilmember Vincent Gentile’s office. The study showed that the city’s three library systems would round out the bottom of the list, with Manhattan at number 20, Queens at 21, and Brooklyn dead last.
The survey – an update to one previously conducted in 2007 by the Center for an Urban Future – was included in a letter by 13 council members urging the mayor to abandon his proposal to cut the libraries’ budgets by 22 percent.
“It appears that you do not consider libraries to be a priority in this fiscal climate. We couldnít disagree more Ė our support of libraries and the preservation of their funding is more important to the vitality and future of New York City than ever,” the letter states. “If we cut $46.5 million from librariesí budgets, individuals will become isolated, community groups will lose some of their impact and the unemployed will have to struggle harder to find work.”
“Tough economic times, when we have them, only make libraries that much more important,” Gentile said at a rally against the cuts last week. “Whether it be looking for a job, or using some free resources, reading materials, or jobs training, or skills training, you find those at the library. And you find them for free.”By Mike Muller on June 2, 2009, 2:49 pm
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