Library activists in New York City have been gearing up to fight proposed massive budget cuts. On May 26, hundreds of supporters of the Queens Library converged on City Hall to protest Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed budget for FY12.
Under the mayor’s latest proposal, which still must go through the City Council, funding for New York City’s three public library systems would be reduced from the $308.5 million adopted by the council for FY11 to $223.5 million for FY12, a reduction of 27.6 percent. According to the city’s Office of Management and Budget, the budget in Queens would go from $84.2 million to $61.3 million; for NYPL it would go from $115.3 million to $82.5 million; for Brooklyn it would go from $86 million to $63 million; and for NYPL’s four research libraries the proposal is to go from $23 million to $16.7 million.
Save NYC Libraries and Urban Librarians Unite have announced two events to protest the proposed reductions: a library hug in support of the city’s public libraries and the We Will Not Be Shushed 24-Hour Read-In.
Library activists plan to encircle the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at 42 Street and 5th Avenue on June 4 at 2 p.m. The We Will Not Be Shushed 24-Hour Read-In will have continuous public reading beginning at 4 p.m. June 11.