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    NYC libraries are getting their funding back.

    Drew Broussard

    June 28, 2024, 10:01am

    As the saying goes, you know you’ve fucked up when the librarians start protesting—and while New York City makes a sport out of hating its mayors, current problematic mayor Eric Adams really stepped in it when he announced cuts to the city’s libraries in the mid-year budget last fall. As we wrote at that time, the ~$58 million in cuts represents a drop in the bucket for, say, the NYPD’s ~$11 billion operating budget and perhaps the city would be better served with libraries that were open on Sundays instead of robot cops in the subways… but the Adams administration didn’t return our calls.

    Now, we’re happy to share that it looks like libraries are getting their full funding restored. Gothamist reports (and City Hall has confirmed) that the libraries are not only getting that $58 million back, but they’re going to have a guaranteed $43 million annually going forward.

    The seven months since the cuts were announced saw the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Queens Public Library all ending Sunday operations as well as significantly reducing the programming and maintenance that keep libraries a vital part of the New York ecosystem. During the massive heat-wave last week, several library branches—designated as ‘cooling centers’ during extreme heat events—had to close because their A/C wasn’t working… and, oh, the money that could’ve been available for repairs was cut by the mayor? Interesting, interesting, interesting.

    The budget is due to be finalized shortly in order to meet a June 30th deadline. It should be noted that the budget still includes massive cuts to arts funding across the five boroughs, a reminder that the work of passionate New Yorkers interested in keeping the city’s vibrant heart alive is never finished.

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