Branch Advocacy Talking Points
Talking points (see below to print)
- 30/50/40: 30% budget cut, 50% staff laid off, 40 library closures citywide
- A steady drop: Lowest funding levels since the 1990s
- It’s not just about the books! Library budget cuts impact a wide range of services: adult literacy, childrens’ programs, computer classes, e-government, job search help, Internet access, ESOL.
- Libraries are the people’s university: our mission is literacy and education. All New Yorkers can use the library to educate themselves and improve their lives.
- A small price to pay for such important services: Less than ½ of 1% of the city budget goes to the libraries that serve millions of New Yorkers every year
- Usership: cite foot traffic & circulation stats
- Closing libraries is expensive! Closed libraries still have to be maintained & heated
- Closing libraries hits poor & working class New Yorkers the hardest: no weekend service, after-school programs canceled, computer access denied
- It’s about access: 32% of Americans (77 million people!)2 use library computers to access the Internet
- E-Government: New Yorkers use the library to access unemployment services, tax forms, etc.
- It’s not about economics, it’s about ideology: Bloomberg and co. are intentionally contracting out and defunding public services at the expense of New Yorkers while wasting money on such fiascos as CityTime.
- Let’s end the budget dance! We call for adequate BASELINE funding that provides for a standard minimum level of Public Library service throughout the City so that every New Yorker can always have access to their Public Library services. Unless this is passed, budget cuts and layoffs will continue to be an annual threat.