17 December 2008

Minding the Deficit

According to the 2009-2010 Executive Budget Briefing Book, Governor Paterson has proposed a $13 million reduction in aid to New York State's public libraries, bringing total State-funded library aid to $80.5 million. (I'm not sure how the math works, exactly, as the 2008-2009 libraries budget was $99 million after a mid-year cut of $1 million.) This budget is very similar to the one proposed back in November that provoked anger, frustration, and a rally at the Capitol.

If Paterson's plan passes, deep cuts in staffing and services would necessarily follow. The Mayor of Philadelphia is threatening to close 11 of 54 public libraries in his city. Are New Yorkers doomed to an equally dire future? We'll know for certain when the Legislature votes in February or March. In the meantime, I expect the hearty outcry to begin right...about...now.

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