TODAY, Friday, May 19th, Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, the presidents of the New York Public Library, Queens Library, and Brooklyn Public Library, Henry Garrido, the Executive Director of the District Council 37 union, and the #InvestInLibraries campaign rallied in support of funding for New York City’s libraries in the FY18 budget on the steps of City Hall before the Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries held a hearing on the FY18 Executive Budget. At the rally, Majority Leader Van Bramer, leaders, employees and supporters of New York City’s public libraries called for funding for 7 day service and for $150 million in necessary capital funds to make needed repairs and facility upgrades to ensure all New Yorkers can enjoy the invaluable and essential services our libraries provide.
“Before serving as a Council Member, I proudly worked for the Queens Library for over 11 years, so I’ve seen first-hand how important our libraries are to the people of our city,” said Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “And in a time when many feel under attack for who they are, our libraries are even more indispensable. Libraries are truly our most democratic institutions and represent a place where all can come to find a sense of community, feel welcome and valued for who they are, and empowered to improve themselves and their communities. Last year, we achieved a record victory of nearly $430 million in funding for our libraries, which included $343 million for permanent six-day service. I’m proud of the work we’ve done together, and I stand with our libraries today in calling for 7 day library service and $150 million in capital funds to repair and improve facilities and maintain and increase the essential services our libraries provide to all New Yorkers.”
Last year, the Council achieved record victories for libraries by allocating $343 million for permanent, base lined six-day service and over $83 million for necessary capital upgrades throughout the three library systems – nearly $430 million in total funding for libraries. However, our city’s three library systems are in need of critical repairs and upgrades to facilities that require capital funding. And to adequately serve all New Yorkers, many of whom work long hours during the week, our libraries must be open 7 days a week. As the Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries, Majority Leader Van Bramer is committed to fighting for and securing the funding required to make needed repairs to solve overcrowding, leaks, broken air conditioning units and windows, and to bring modern upgrades to libraries in every neighborhood throughout the five boroughs.