Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Message To Our Legislators About Library Aid

Democratic Conference Leader Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins
spreads the message about more state library aid
Here's our message for NY State legislators this year, courtesy of the Westchester Library System.

Governor Cuomo's proposed budget includes $89.9 million for Library Aid. We request restoration of Library Aid to $102 million--a level equal to that of 2007. Additional funding would help us keep up with increasing demand for library services at all levels.  Here's how Westchester's 38 public libraries stack up from 2007 to 2011 (latest available):

2007 Visits - 7,187,139
2011 Visits - 7,594,963  +5.7%

2007 Expenditures - $63,399,054
2011 Expenditures - $68,078,286  +7.4%

NYS Library Aid helps fund broadband access for 730 public use computers throughout Westchester County, allowing 1,259,931 library patrons to access the Internet.

WLS provides workforce development through numerous programs, including WEBS Career Counseling, online learning programs for GED preparation, ESL classes, and business resources.

Westchester's libraries are an important part of the education system. 34 of our libraries offer early literacy programs and the Summer Reading Games drew 14,917 participants who read 166,941 books.

In 2011, 26,119 NO-Admission-Charge library-sponsored programs saved 537,415 attendees over $4.8 million. 16,082 of these programs were specifically for teens and children.

NYS Library Aid is an integral part of the funding stream for our libraries. Please help us continue to provide these and dozens of other services that empower our communities by voting to increase it to levels commensurate with its importance.

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