Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, and Council Member Andy King Announce $38 Million in Capital Funding for New York City Libraries

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Investment also includes approximately $43 million in baseline funding for libraries citywide.

Astoria, Queens – Today, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Majority Leader and Chair of the Cultural Affairs and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Chair of the Subcommittee on Libraries Council Member Andy King, Council Member Costa Constatinides, Dennis Walcott, President and CEO of the Queens Library, Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Public Library, and Tony Marx, President and CEO of the New York Public Library, gathered to celebrate the announced $38.8 million in Council capital funding for the libraries citywide. Working alongside the Administration, they were also able to secure $43 million baseline funding which was adopted through negotiation in the FY 17 budget. This funding will help with more staff hires, extended hours on open days, continue 6 day service, more classes offered to the public and more materials.

“Libraries are a pillar of communities across the five boroughs,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. They serve as a hub for education, communal activity, and access to services. This Council is proud to support them with funding in the FY 2017 budget. I would like to thank the Administration who was instrumental in helping secure baseline funding so our libraries will be able to continue to provide their invaluable services all New Yorkers.”

“Libraries are the backbones of our communities,” said Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “They are spaces where adults can learn job skills, seniors can practice using the computer, children can develop literacy, and communities can come together. I have always fought for libraries, first as an employee of the Queens Library and now as Chair of Cultural Affairs and Libraries on the New York City Council. Today, I’m proud to stand at my childhood library branch with Speaker Mark-Viverito, my council colleagues, and the presidents of New York City’s amazing libraries and announce that 6 day library service is now a permanent reality for New Yorkers.”

“The FY17 Adopted Budget was a true partnership between the City and City Council and few pieces exemplify this better than the increased support for our libraries,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Libraries will now be open six days a week for years to come, creating more time for families to read to their children, students to research their term papers and our seniors to surf the web.”

“Our library systems are the backbone of New York City education and research; they preserve our world history and open windows that empower us with the knowledge we need to improve ourselves. I commend Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito for not only including, but allocating a historic capital budget for our library services which guaranteed the existence of the six-day service program and, most importantly, provide hundreds of jobs for the dedicated librarians and other library staff that work very hard to keep our libraries functioning at a high level. Thank you to Queens Library President Walcott, Brooklyn Public Library President Johnson, New York Public Library President Marx for your fine work in the library systems. And, thank you to my colleagues Majority Leader Van Bramer and Constantinides for your work on the library funding for the FY 17 budget. I am ecstatic with what we’ve accomplished for all of the New York City library systems,” said Council Member King, Chair of the Subcommittee on Libraries.

“The baselined funding has allowed us to open our libraries’ doors for an additional 20,000 hours a year, to provide everyone who walks through them with more materials, programs, and services, and to reach a record program attendance of 1.1 million last year,” said Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “On behalf of our customers, I’d like to thank Speaker Mark-Viverito, Council Majority Leader Van Bramer, Council Subcommittee on Libraries Chair Andy King, the City Council, Mayor de Blasio and the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who saw to it that the City of New York kept investing in its libraries.”

“New Yorkers asked for a greater investment in their libraries and city government heard the call, said Tony Marx, President and CEO of the New York Public Library. “With increased library funding secure, expanded hours and education programs are preserved for all ages, making our communities even stronger. We thank the leadership of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, Mayor Bill De Blasio, and Councilman Andy King and all our supporters in the City Council, for their strong commitment to our city’s libraries. This is a proud legacy that will benefit all New Yorkers, especially those most in need.”
“Thanks to the leadership of Speaker Mark-Viverito, Majority Leader Van Bramer, Library Subcommittee Chair Andy King and the members of New York City Council, Brooklyn Public Library has been open more than 1,000 additional days—nearly 10,000 hours—in the past year,” said Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda E. Johnson. “For the jobseekers who have found work with the help of our librarians, the older adults who have learned the latest computer technologies and the children who have discovered that reading is cooler than any video game, each of those additional hours has been precious. And because the Council and the Mayor worked together to baseline our operating funds in this year’s budget, our doors will be open, and our programs transforming lives, throughout Brooklyn for many hours, days and years to come.”

About Queens Public Library
The Queens Library serves 2.3 million people from 62 locations plus seven Adult Learning Centers and two Family Literacy Centers. It circulates among the highest numbers of books and other library materials in the country. Visit online at: http://www.queenslibrary.org/

About Brooklyn Public Library
As an independent system, separate from the New York City and Queens libraries, Brooklyn Public Library serves the borough’s 2.5 million residents, offering thousands of public programs, millions of books and use of more than 1,100 free Internet-accessible computers. Visit online at: https://www.bklynlibrary.org/

About New York Public Library
Founded in 1895, the New York Public Library is the nation’s largest public library system, featuring a unique combination of 88 neighborhood branches and four scholarly research centers, bringing together an extraordinary richness of resources and opportunities available to all.

Serving more than 17 million patrons a year, and millions more online, the Library holds more than 51 million items, from books, e-books, and DVDs to renowned research collections used by scholars from around the world. Visit online at: https://www.nypl.org/

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