With the elimination of 7-day service already affecting the three library systems, further cuts threaten to eliminate Saturday service, staffing, programs, and other services

New York – With the looming June 30th deadline approaching, New York City Council Members, the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), the Queens Public Library (QPL), New York Public Library (NYPL), and library supporters and advocates rallied at the BPL’s Walt Whitman Branch and QPL’s Flushing Branch to call on Mayor Adams to fully restore $58.3 million in funding for all three library systems in the Fiscal Year 2025 city budget.

Libraries across the city have been severely impacted by the mayor’s repeated budget cuts, which have reduced services at local branches, including the loss of 7-day service. The Flushing branch of Queens Public Library ended Sunday service months ago due to the mayor’s budget cuts to libraries. The Walt Whitman branch of Brooklyn Public Library will likely end Saturday service if funding is not restored in the adopted budget due on June 30. Libraries provide vitally important programs to New Yorkers of all ages in every neighborhood, like adult education classes, homework help for students, literacy and reading programs for young children, technology classes, workforce development services, and more.

The livestream of the Flushing Library rally can be found here. Photos of both rallies can be found here.

“Our neighborhood libraries are community centers and resource hubs that serve New Yorkers of all ages,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “Libraries are among our most precious public resources, and they deserve our full investment. Our city must restore the budget cuts that have already taken seven-day service away from New Yorkers and threaten to further impact programs and services. With the final budget due in days, the Council continues to fight for the restoration of funding for these essential institutions.”

“Public libraries are vital to the character of our city, and provide jobs, support small businesses, and enrich our everyday lives as New Yorkers,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations. “They provide language classes, theater and music performances, access to technology, career and financial services, and countless other opportunities, all for free. For over a century, New York’s public library systems have been connecting people to valuable resources and are a cornerstone of our vibrant civic society, and Council is fighting to secure the funds needed to avoid a further reduction in service at library branches and for the capital funding for the systems’ ongoing infrastructure needs.”

“If it’s June then the Council must be fighting to save our city’s library system. Indeed, it’s déjà vu all over again,” said Council Member Justin Brannan, Chair of the Committee on Finance. “We do this because our libraries aren’t just about books – they are tabernacles of freedom and democracy. We do this because our libraries are a lighthouse for kids, parents, new immigrants, and seniors. We do this because an egalitarian city cannot exist without our public libraries. We do this because these sacred spaces serve New Yorkers of all ages, all backgrounds, at every income level in every neighborhood with literacy programs, language classes, technology classes, homework help, adult education, career help, reading programs for kids, workforce development services, and, oh yeah, you can find great books to borrow, too. Today, the Council is calling on the Mayor to fully restore $58.3 million in funding for the city’s library systems so these tabernacles of freedom, these houses of hope, can live to light another day.”

“In largely immigrant communities, libraries are where newcomers – like myself as a young girl – learn English and discover valuable resources that help them build better lives for themselves and their families,” said Council Member Sandra Ung. “These budget cuts to libraries don’t just amount to a loss of service, it is a loss of opportunity and support for countless New Yorkers. Libraries are the last public institutions we should be asking to do more with less. I am committed to working with Speaker Adrienne Adams and my colleagues in the New York City Council to reverse these harmful budget cuts and ensure our libraries continue to provide access to knowledge, technology, and programs that support the success of all New Yorkers.”

“Libraries are the foundations of strong communities. They are essential hubs that provide residents a place to socialize and access technology and services to support their success and endeavors,” said Council Member Linda Lee. “The Administration’s cuts to our libraries eliminate 7-day service and diminishes access to the unique programs that New Yorkers rely on to serve their needs. I am proud to join my Council colleagues, Queens Public Library, and New Yorkers across the 5 boroughs to rally in support of restoring the $58.3M libraries need to thrive and remain open to support our communities.”

“As a city, we must invest in the systems and entities that uplift and do everything in their power to support our most marginalized residents. Our city’s libraries do exactly that and more,” said Council Member Crystal Hudson. “They’re not just hubs for a world-class collection of books and media. They’re also home to business and career support services, resource navigation programs, and even college courses. I will continue to fight for an equitable budget that meets the needs of those who need the city’s support the most. And that means stopping at nothing to restore the $58.3 million in senseless cuts this Administration has placed on our library system. We need to restore Sunday service, which is the only day many New Yorkers – especially those who observe certain religious and cultural traditions – can access their library. This is a fight for the future of our city’s most democratic institutions.”

“Libraries are the cornerstone of our communities, providing essential resources and inclusive programs that unite us,” said Council Member Shekar Krishnan. “Every New Yorker deserves access to a well-funded library, open seven days a week. The Mayor’s proposed budget cuts, totaling $58.3M, threaten these vital services. It is unacceptable. The Council is committed to restoring these funds and ensuring our libraries remain accessible to all.”

“Libraries are essential and deeply engrained in the lives of New Yorkers, providing everything from free books and education programs to cooling centers for all,” said the New York Public Library, Queens Public Library, and Brooklyn Public Library in a statement. “Unfortunately, we are facing $58.3M in budget cuts that threaten our ability to continue providing the vital services New Yorkers rely on. If enacted, most libraries will be open just five days a week throughout the city. This is on top of the loss of seven-day service due to budget cuts last fall. We are grateful to Speaker Adams, Finance Chair Brannan, Libraries Chair Rivera, the Budget Negotiating Team, and the entire City Council for prioritizing NYC’s libraries and we remain hopeful that we will be fully restored and baselined.”