SENATOR SEAN RYAN SECURES INCREASED FUNDING FOR NEW YORK’S LIBRARIES IN STATE BUDGET
Ryan Successfully Fought to Reverse Cuts, Secure Extra Funding for New York’s Libraries
ALBANY – Today, April 9, 2022, New York State Senator Sean Ryan announced that the state budget for FY 2022-2023 delivers nearly $100 million in operating aid and $34 million in construction aid to New York’s public libraries. As Chair of the Senate Libraries Committee, Senator Ryan was instrumental in securing an increase in library operating aid and restoring a proposed $20 million cut to library construction aid.
The $99.627 million in operating aid for libraries in the budget represents a six percent ($5.527 million) increase from last year’s allocation. 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 $34 million for library construction and capital projects matches the allocation from last year’s budget. Library construction aid supports maintenance, renovation, and expansion of existing facilities and new construction of public libraries throughout the state. In January, Senator Ryan led the effort to restore a $20 million cut to construction aid proposed in this year’s executive budget.
He also successfully pushed to restore – and increase – funding that was slated to be cut for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture ($375,000 in 2022-2023) and the Langston Hughes Community Library ($112,500 in 2022-2023).
In addition to the existing budget items, Senator Ryan fought to release $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. Prior to this year’s budget, none of the money accumulated since the creation of the fund had been distributed.
A breakdown of the library funding in the state budget:
Senator Sean Ryan said, “As Chair of the Libraries Committee, I am proud to have helped secure an increase in library funding once again this year. Our libraries played a major role in the lives of thousands of New Yorkers throughout the pandemic. With nearly $100 million in operating aid in this year’s budget, they will be well prepared to continue their outstanding service in the coming year. I can’t think of a better way to wrap up National Library Week.”