Senator Sean Ryan Announces State Senate One-House Budget Significantly Increases Aid To New York’s Libraries



Ryan Fought for Increased Funding for New York’s Libraries – Senate Budget Features Major Increases in Operating Aid and Construction Aid

ALBANY – Today, March 14, 2022, New York State Senator Sean Ryan, Chair of the Senate Libraries Committee, announced details of the Senate Democratic Majority FY 2022-2023 one-house budget resolution, which delivers $123 million in operating aid and $45 million in construction aid to New York’s public libraries. The full resolution can be found here.

The $123 million in operating aid for libraries in this year’s Senate one-house budget is $27 million more than what was included in the Executive Budget Proposal. State library aid ensures that every community and every New Yorker has access to quality library materials and services. According to the State Education Department, every dollar invested in state library aid yields seven dollars’ worth of local library services.

The $45 million for library construction and capital projects represents an increase of $31 million more than the Executive Budget Proposal. Library construction aid supports maintenance, renovation, and expansion of existing facilities and new construction of public libraries throughout the state. Senator Ryan was instrumental in securing a $20 million increase in library construction aid in last year’s final state budget, which allowed libraries to prioritize badly needed repairs. In January, he led the effort to restore cuts to construction aid in this year’s executive budget.

Senator Sean Ryan said, “This increase in funding for New York’s libraries represents the major role they have played throughout the pandemic. In communities across New York, libraries have kept people connected and informed during a tumultuous time. Additional operating aid will help them continue to serve the public, and increasing funding for construction and capital projects will help them prepare for the future, while creating jobs at the same time.”

As Chair of the Senate Libraries Committee, Senator Ryan also successfully led efforts to increase library funding in several other areas:

Library Diversity Assessment
Created a $1.2 million fund for libraries to use specifically for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. This funding is intended to be used by libraries to conduct diversity surveys of their current collections, purchase books that better serve the needs of their communities, host cultural events, and conduct other programming that will otherwise enhance community representation.

Funding Existing Cultural Institutions
Allocated $425,000 to restore – and increase – funding that was slated to be cut in the executive budget for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Langston Hughes Community Library.

Statewide Summer Reading Program
Released $150,000 of funding from the Love Your Library Fund to be allocated to the Statewide Summer Reading Program. This fund, which was established nearly 17 years ago, collects funding through special DMV-issued license plates as well as corporate or personal income tax returns. Since the fund was created, none of the accumulated funds have been distributed.

A breakdown of the library funding in the Senate one-house budget:

  • Library Operating Aid: $123 million
  • Library Construction Aid: $45 million
  • Digital Inclusion Grant Program: $15 million
  • Library Services Technology: $5.4 million
  • Library Diversity Assessment: $1.2 million
  • Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture: $300,000
  • Langston Hughes Community Library: $125,000