As you make important funding decisions this year, I am reaching out to ask that you consider one of New York City’s most vital resources: our public libraries.

Libraries are a cornerstone of all NYC communities. From access to millions of books and resources to programs in early literacy, English classes, career building, technology training, and more, libraries empower every New Yorker to find what they need to succeed—all for free.

The city recognizes this, and has called on libraries to help with many important initiatives, especially focused on New Yorkers most in need. As libraries have worked to meet these challenges—with new branches, larger spaces, new programs, and expanded service areas within and beyond their walls—their resources are being stretched thin. With rising costs citywide, libraries need increased funding to best serve New York City.

This year, the city’s three library systems are asking for $35 million in funding to strengthen our collections at a time when access to information is essential, while expanding library services beyond our branches to those most in need—in jails, schools, senior centers, homeless shelters, and more. They are also asking for $900 million in capital funding over the next 10 years—a large but necessary investment that is critical to maintaining service, hours, and facilities as costs continue to rise.

Your support is paramount. Our libraries are committed to providing the programs and services New Yorkers need—but can only do so with your continued investment. As long as libraries remain strong, New York City can become stronger.

Thank you,

Dennis M. Walcott
President and CEO, Queens Library

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