Extended Days will Continue to Improve Access to Library Services for all New Yorkers
Queens, NY – Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, together with Finance Chair, Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer and Chair of the Committee on the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Group Relations, and newly appointed Chair of the Subcommittee on Libraries, Council Member Andy King celebrated the preservation of full day, 6 day library service for the library systems throughout the five boroughs. Six-day library service, a top budget priority for the Speaker and the City Council was able to be preserved. Joining the Speaker and Council Members were representatives of the Queens Public Library, New York Public Library, and Brooklyn Library.
The newly adopted FY 16 budget, which will go into effect July 1st, contained a total of $43 million in funding for the City’s three library systems which will be able to increase access to New Yorkers by implementing vital services like improving literacy programs, providing career development, and increasing access to technology.
“Libraries are sanctuaries in our local communities and serve as places that foster our imagination,” said Speaker Mark Viverito. “With the restoration of 6th day library service, New Yorkers can continue to rely on the resources and services our libraries provide. I want to thank Finance Chair, Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and our Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer for being a relentless advocate for our city’s libraries.”
The City Council can be proud of the Fiscal 2016 Budget because it is clear that we had a strong hand in its creation and the priorities it puts forth for the city,” said Council Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. “Every council member saw the wonderful services libraries provide and, so, the importance of adequately funding them. This is a victory for the Council, the libraries and every New Yorker.”
“The budget represents a major victory for our public libraries and the people of our great City who rely on them every day,” said Majority Leader and Chair of the Committee on Libraries and Cultural Affairs Jimmy Van Bramer. “By investing $43 million to implement six day service in every community library, we offer hope and opportunity while striking a blow against inequality. Libraries are a lifeline to so many but they must be open to perform their life enhancing work. I thank the Mayor, Speaker Mark-Viverito, Finance Chair Ferreras-Copeland and all of my colleagues for making libraries a priority again in this City.”
“Libraries are the windows to the world by encouraging reading, research, and expression. The restoration of a six-day library service provides more opportunities for students to access resources for homework, assist job seekers in their employment hunt, offer ESL classes, story times for children, provide access to digital media and offer meeting spaces for everyone . Libraries are safe havens that connect people to different cultures around the world. I applaud Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito, Finance Chair Ferreras-Copeland and our Majority Leader Van Bramer for their commitment to our libraries in FY16 budget,” said Council Member Andy King, Chair of the Subcommittee on Libraries.
“Our libraries are the centerpieces of our communities where visitors can take advantage of important programs, services and technology they may not be able to get elsewhere,” said Council Member Peter Koo. “Every morning, there are lines to get into the Flushing Library. By extending service here and across the city, we are providing more opportunities for so many who rely on these essential resources.”
“Thanks to the hard work and leadership of the City Council and Mayor de Blasio, 40 more libraries in Queens will gain a sixth day of service to provide education and information to the community,” Bridget Quinn-Carey, Interim President and CEO, Queens Library. “We will have more books and other library materials to lend to information-hungry Queens residents. We will be hiring more staff to serve patrons, including librarians, custodial staff and youth counselors. Sincere thanks to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras, Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, outgoing Commiittee Chair Costa Constantinides, incoming Chair Andy King and the whole City Council for recognizing the value that libraries provide. We are also grateful to our partners at DC37, Local 1321 and all the members of the community who told their elected officials that libraries are a priority for them.”
“The people of New York City made clear how much they love their libraries and library staff, and the City’s elected leaders in turn provided libraries with their largest ever operating increase and unprecedented capital funding,” said New York Public Library President Tony Marx. “The City’s branches – lifelines for so many – will now be open six-days citywide, offering the public increased access to materials, programs, classes and so much more. Additionally, we can now offer more research library services. We are so grateful to Mayor de Blasio, City Council Speaker Mark-Viverito, Council Finance Chair Ferreras, Majority Leader and Cultural Affairs Chair Van Bramer, Sub-Committee on Libraries Chair, Council Member Andy King and all the members of the Council for this increase, which provides great momentum for the future. We also want to thank the over 150,000 New Yorkers who took the time to send letters in support of the libraries that they so rely on — we look forward to providing them even more.”
“Thanks to the support of Speaker Mark-Viverito, the New York City Council and Mayor de Blasio, we will finally be able to restore six-day library service to Brooklyn,” said Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda E. Johnson. “As we celebrate the passage of the City’s 2016 budget, we are grateful to the elected officials who recognized the value of libraries and the thousands of patrons who spoke so eloquently on our behalf.”
New York City’s libraries are community hubs that serve all New Yorkers. The Council and the Administration will provide $43 million in FY 2016 to increase access to libraries and implement 6 day library service in every library across the City. Council funding increased from $5 million in FY15 to $21 million in FY16.
At this funding level approximately 450 jobs will be created between the library systems, 6-day service across the City at an average 47 hours and at least 6 additional Sundays’ libraries will be open.
New York City’s five boroughs are served by three independent library systems: the New York Public Library, which serves the boroughs of Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx, the Queens Borough Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library. The three library systems operate a total of four research libraries and over 209 local library branches, which provide over 65 million books, periodicals and other items to New Yorkers.