The budget battle this year ended in the clearest victory we have seen in years. For the first time since 2008 there were NO cuts to the city library budgets. Yes we are absolutely ecstatic about things holding level, that might be a little strange but since we have been watching a slow death by a thousand cuts this year staying whole is really important.
A lot of people worked really hard this year. We would of course first like to thank all of our amazing volunteers. Folks have been coming out for the Read In and the Volunteer Library Brigade in a big big way and that made a huge difference in our advocacy this year. Thanks to our vols!
A big thank you goes to all the City Council who worked so hard on behalf of libraries but in particular to City Councilmembers Jimmy Van Bramer and Vincent Gentile. They, along with their staff, were tireless in fighting for libraries. We had a chance to help them coordinate a great children’s rally at City Hall which was a blast to do and a nice example of teamwork by library advocates in the city.
Speaking of teamwork for library advocates in the city, we would like to say a big thank you to the Community Affairs departments at Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Library, and New York Public Library. We had a great year of working together on all kinds of events. We really appreciate the support of the city libraries and in our turn we wholeheartedly support the essential work that they do every day.
No Cuts! No Closures! No Layoffs! We did it folks, total budget restoration, and we could not have done it without your help.
The NYC budget decision is coming down to the wire now, people! Thank you so much for your support so far. We appreciate you signing the petitions, camping out with us at the Read-In, and all the other great stuff you’re doing to help save NYC libraries.
We’re going to ask you to do ONE LAST THING this year to help prevent library funding cuts before the budget is finalized (which might be as early as next week – yikes!)
Just like last year, we’re holding an official “311 Call-In Day” so that the mayor’s office gets inundated with phone calls in support of NYC libraries.
This small action has a BIG impact because 311 tracks the comments and tells the mayor about the issues that concern people the most. Imagine if Mr. Bloomberg got A MILLION comments just about library funding. Would he be able to justify closing them down THEN? Pshaw! (Okay, maybe a million calls is a stretch. But it’s nice to dream!)
Here’s what you can do:
On either Thursday, June 20th, or Friday June 21st (or both!), call 311 at any time and tell the operator you’d like to make a “budget comment.” Then you can make a statement regarding library funding. If you want to keep things simple, here’s a sample script: “I believe closing any libraries in NYC is unacceptable and I’m calling to request the complete restoration of library funding.” Easy as that! And it feels so good.
If you don’t live in NYC, you can call 212-NEW-YORK (or 212-639-9675). In addition, the TTY Number is 212-504-4115.
Want to connect with other library supporters? RSVP to make your phone call over on Facebook!
Thank you again for supporting NYC libraries. We couldn’t do this without you.
No Cuts, No Closures, No Layoffs!
On June 8th & 9th Urban Librarians Unite once again held it 24 Hour Read In for New York City Libraries. This was our fourth year and it was the first year which we had no rain whatsoever! The weather was gorgeous, the turnout was grand, and a great time was had by all.
Once again libraries in New York City are facing dire and dreadful cuts and once again New Yorkers stood up for their libraries by reading right around the clock to show their support. The current cuts stand at $106 Million and should they go through more than a thousand jobs will be lost and over 60 community libraries will be forced to close. Our library supporters refuse to go quietly into this disaster and protested using literature.
It was a great event. We had some wonderful authors like Lev Rosen and Joan Bauer come out in support as well as administrators from all three of the Tri-Li libraries. Brooklyn Public Library was an INCREDIBLE host and their custodial and security services were incredibly gracious and helpful (as they ALWAYS are).
The most beautiful thing about this year’s event was all the new volunteers and friends we made. It was incredible to see two dozen people enjoying the readers at 2AM, indeed we had great coverage and audiences throughout this year (although that 5AM -7AM shift was a bear like always, thanks Lauren and Karen for standing so strong).
We have lots lot LOTS more pics which we will be sharing over the next couple of days. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported us and thanks to everyone who supports the libraries in New York City as they push back against dreadful and crippling budget cuts.
No Cuts! No Closures! No Layoffs!
We Will Not Be Shushed!
(also posted at Urban Librarians Unite)
Well friends, it’s our fourth year of hosting our 24-hour Read-In on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library. Once again readers, library lovers, librarians, families, and even unsuspecting people just wandering by in front of the library are joining together to take a stand against the outrageous proposed cuts to our beloved New York City public libraries.The Read-In will take place from 4 p.m to 4 p.m., June 8th and 9th, in front of the Central Library in Grand Army Plaza.
More details to follow soon, but won’t you join us? Sign up here to claim your time spot and read whatever you like for a quarter of an hour.
- Join us as we read around the clock to show the range and depth of New York’s literary love … and how library cuts would devastate so many of our beloved services
- Join us in protest against the loss of books for our community’s children, young adults, parents, and senior citizens
- Join us to hear librarians, authors, illustrators and city council members share their favorite words
- Join us for a four hours of family story time (8 a.m. – noon on Sunday)
- Join us as we lovingly heckle other readers in the darkest hours of the Read-In (2 a.m – 4 a.m.)
- OR … join us just to come together and enjoy the simple pleasure of reading
Sign up here.