Governor Andrew Cuomo recently released his 2019-2020 Executive Budget proposal. The Governor pitched his Executive Budget as a “Democracy Agenda” — but it includes the third straight year of drastic cuts to library funding: a 5% cut to Library Aid and a $20M cut to Library Construction Aid.
Libraries are fundamental to democracy and education and we must guarantee information equity for all New Yorkers through investments in library services. Library systems could see 4% or greater loss to all state aid funding categories, which affects programs for all of New York’s libraries, including public libraries.
Access to information is a fundamental human right. Rather than a of a cut to library aid, we need to see an investment and increase in library funding. State Library Aid must increase to provide school, public and academic libraries and library systems adequate funding to advance information fluency through collaborative action.