To the Editor:
Gov. Cuomo has once again drastically cut funding for libraries in his state budget proposal. His proposed funding for library aid cuts $4 million from the 2019 enacted funds of $96.6. His proposal for library construction aid cuts the 2019 funds of $34 million to $14 million.
The Governor does not seem to understand that libraries are a vital part of the education system of the state, public libraries have a crucial role as the community centers of their service areas, and that library funding has a huge return on investment.
The cut to construction funding is particularly galling — the state Division of Library Development estimates that there is $1.5 billion worth of renovation and construction needed in the 1,100 public library buildings to overcome aging infrastructure.
My own library, Ford Memorial Library in Ovid benefited from previous construction aid and now has the ability to provide concurrent programs especially for kids, safer access in and out of the library, and the space to increase dramatically the services we provide our patrons. Other libraries should be able to benefit in the same way.
If you treasure your local library, contact your legislators to override the Governor’s stinginess as they work on the 2020 state budget.
Town of Ovid