You might associate libraries more with words than numbers - but we need to share a few statistics with you:
- Visits to libraries in New York state are up 6.3 percent.
- Circulation in libraries in New York state is up 3.36 percent.
- The cost of books is up 3.89 percent.
- Library funding in New York state has dropped 23 percent since 2008.
Those of us who work in libraries understand that tax dollars are precious and public funds are tight. We also know that during lean economic times, the demand for our services increases. We know, too, that of all the public services that are provided to people, libraries are among the most cherished: A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that 91 percent of those surveyed rated libraries as either very important or somewhat important to their community.
Few public services offer as much direct value to citizens as libraries. (You can calculate the actual dollar amount by using this Library Value Calculator.) Yet when it comes to state funding, libraries are cut first and cut deepest.
Libraries across New York are looking to you to help us reverse this trend. Please contact your legislator and ask them to restore library aid to $102 million in this year's budget. Let them know what your library means to you.
We have postcards and more information available at the library, or you can use these links to contact your legislator directly: