Library Advocates Gear Up for Friday Rally

By GREGORY N. HEIRES

Library supporters are gearing up for a rally on Friday to press the City Council to fund seven-day service and capital projects.

The rally on the steps of City Hall–supported by DC 37 and the advocacy group Invest in Libraries–is scheduled for 10 a.m. The theme of the coalition’s campaign is, “Invest in libraries, Invest in All New Yorkers!”

The group has two demands:

  • an $24 million increase for daily operating to ensure that every City Council district has a library open seven days a week, and
  • an additional $150 million to continue addressing $1.1 billion in capital needs.

Last year, the city’s three public library system received support from the City Council to guarantee a permanent funding floor for six-day service. Now, the library systems seek additional funding to meet the public’s demand for seven-day service.

The coalition is carrying out a letter-writing initiative to push for its demands. It urges patrons to write Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, invest in librariesMajority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and their council member.

The libraries began their effort to secure more capital funding two years ago. The campaign has won $300 million in support, but that funding has already been dedicated to projects.

The additional capital funding would be used to address chronic flooding, faulty air conditioning and heating systems, overcrowding, outdated electrical systems, broken elevators and insufficient space.

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