Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker Corey Johnson, and the New York City Council agree on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2022. Photo courtesy of John McCarten and the NYC Council..
Statement By NYC's Library Leaders on the FY 22 City Budget
July 1, 2021—Today, Brooklyn Public Library President Linda E. Johnson, The New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx, and Queens Public Library President Dennis M. Walcott issued the following statement in response to New York City’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget:
“In an understandably uncertain budget year, we are incredibly thankful to Mayor de Blasio, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Finance Chair Daniel Dromm, Cultural Affairs and Libraries Chair Jimmy Van Bramer and all the members of the administration and City Council for keeping New York City’s public libraries strong as we all move forward into our next chapter. Libraries—welcoming spaces where everyone can come together to learn, grow, and unlock doors of opportunity—will continue to be critical to New York’s recovery and reawakening, so it is a win for the people of our city that our partners in government recognized their critical role and found a way to avoid devastating cuts that would have profoundly impacted public service.
“The over $22 million previously proposed cut in operating money at stake would have meant reducing our collections budgets, shortening library hours, and operating below pre-pandemic levels, right when our City needs us most. As we reopen all of our remaining locations in July and work towards full expansion of service, we are so grateful for the resources to ramp up to the level of service New Yorkers need and expect. We are also grateful to the tens of thousands of supporters who signed letters and called their elected representatives urging support for libraries during the budget process, and shared how libraries were essential sources of information, education, and support throughout the pandemic. We offered virtual programming, grab-and-go service and even served as vaccination hubs and testing sites.
“The commitment shown to our libraries by Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson, Finance Chair Dromm, Cultural Affairs and Libraries Chair Van Bramer, the budget negotiating team and the entire City Council is deeply appreciated, and will allow us to continue to provide vital services to New York City’s diverse communities.”