This was originally posted on The Desk Set: http://thedeskset.org/?p=4426
“Show the love people. Urban Librarians Unite will be staging a mass hug of the Schwarzman Building (that is the dreamy one with the lions) on June 4th at 2PM. NYPL are fully in our corner and love the event. Our old pals at BPL and Queens are on board as well of course and it is going to be incredible activism for all three libraries in the city.
We will form a continuous human chain around the building. You can imagine us giving it a big squeeze. We LOVE the damn library people, let’s give it a snuggle. Some of our more militant members are also likening the image to a human shield kinda thing, throwing ourselves in front of the building to protect it. Make of it what you will but you gotta come out.
Do NOT be late. The crowd meets critical mass on Saturday June 4th, 2PM come rain or shine. This is us literally rallying around the library, to embrace it, to interpose our bodies between it and a harsh world. There are no rainchecks and fashionably late will be yesterday’s news.
If you have never done something like this it is incredibly exhilarating and a lot of fun. It really does feel like you are part of something larger and the mood is going to be light. If you’ve never been to a rally the hug will be a great start and if you have been to this kinda thing before then you already know this one is going to be a blast.
Now is the time to show what you believe in. This is quite literally your chance to put it on the line. Stand up. Stand proud. Show the world your courage and determination. Show up on time & show the politicians and media that libraries are a force to be reckoned with.”
***400 people are needed to make this event a huge success — check out the Facebook event: http://tinyurl.com/4xu8not and RSVP for you are in the NYC-area!***
Check out the original blog post: http://savenyclibraries.org/2011/02/28/advocate-for-libraries-this-tuesday-march-1st-in-albany/
Tomorrow is the first of March. Thankfully, this signifies that winter is almost over. But, it is also Library Advocacy Day (the day formerly known as Lobby or Albany Day.) The New York Library Association (NYLA) needs support for this event to be successful. Here are two main reasons to support and participate in Library Advocacy Day on March 1st in Albany, NY.
Looking at the library aid cuts over the last couple years, library aid has been already reduced five times since 2008 from $102 million to $84 million in 2010. The proposed 10% cut would reduce library aid to $76 million, which is below 1994 levels, according to NYLA. For more information on library aid cuts and advocacy points, please check out this informative PDF from NYLA.
With these cuts, library aid makes up for less than 1% of the state budget, yet libraries serve 57% of the state’s population (10.6 million library card holders), or 75% of households in New York. Libraries need to be able to continue to provide access to information, from job assistance to education programs, even helping families save money by borrowing materials and attending cultural and literacy programs. Libraries need support to continue these quality services.
For those reasons above, if possible, making a trip to Albany on March 1st, will help strengthen the message that libraries need more funding. We need to speak with legislators and have them understand the value of libraries in our communities. If you aren’t able to make the trip to Albany, there are still ways to advocate for libraries. Call/write your legislators and reinforce this message. NYLA has several advocacy tools to help with this process: NYLA Advocacy Tools
From Save the BECPL Facebook campaign:
BECPL Fast Facts
* SITUATION: The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library faces a $6.8 million shortfall for 2011 if the budget proposed by County Executive Chris Collins stands. Library hours will be reduced from 332 to 205.
* COST: Buffalo/Erie County library services cost $28.64 per capita while comparably sized cities pay $43 and up per capita.
* VALUE: If you take out just 2 books and 10 movies a month, that is $74 value in a month and close to $900 value in one year.
* INCREASING IMPORTANCE OF LIBRARIES: In tough economic times, especially with high unemployment, people need libraries.
o Circulation of library materials continues to trend at over 6 million items per year.
o People depend so much on the libraries’ Internet connection that many people drive closed libraries, sit in their cars and connect on laptops through the libraries’ wifi.
o Bookstores and high speed Internet are not available in some of the small communities B&ECPL serves so these residents rely on the reading material and high-speed Internet that their local libraries provide.
o Economically challenged households in Buffalo and across Erie County can’t support the purchase of books, CDs or DVDs, let alone have a computer with Internet access.
* LIBRARY USE INCREASE: Computer usage in Buffalo & Erie County Libraries has always been high but it has increased 25% since 2008—the beginning of the economic downturn.
QUALITY OF LIFE: Libraries contribute to the community’s quality of life economically, equal access to information resources; children’s introductions to libraries; the future role of libraries; the impact of physical development on the sense of community; life skills, including accountability and responsibility; and career paths
**There’s also an online petition and blog at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savebecpl/**
Cattaraugus County Administrator Jack Searles released a budget last week that includes 20% cuts across the board for all contract agencies. For your local library, this could be devastating.
$17, 105 in county aid would be lost to the libraries in Cattaraugus County. However, this is not the only cut that would occur. This cut would be more than 5% of the library’s local funding, which would result in a loss of 25% of State Aid. In total, this would mean a loss of approximately $270,000.
In the past two years, State Aid to the library system has already been cut by $250,000. The current amount of County funding has been the same since 2005. One of the consequences of these cuts was the elimination of the bookmobile. As a result of the current proposal several programs could be cut including weekly delivery of books requested from other libraries, the interlibrary loan service that allows patron to access books outside of the CCLS system, and service to the County’s nine nursing homes and senior centers.
Economic times are difficult, but in times like these more and more people are turning to the public library for help. People visit the library each day to fill out job applications, look for potential employment, update their skills, and more. The library lends out books, DVDs, and video games which saves people money. Is this the time to cut funding, when the library’s services are in high demand?
What you can do to help:
- Call or write your legislator and ask him or her to restore library funding. (The names, addresses, and phone numbers of the District 10 Legislators appears at the bottom of this page as well as a link to information on the other Cattaraugus County legislators.)
- Sign the petition available at the library.
- Attend the Legislature’s public hearing on the budget on Tuesday, November 23rd at 3pm in the Legislature’s Chambers (Cattaraugus County Center, 303 Court Street, Little Valley, NY).
- Sign up to speak at the budget hearing on the 23rd.
- Pass this information on to your friends and family. The library could use the support.
The library can’t do this without your help! Thank you for all you have done over the years for the library and all that you continue to do.
**Thanks to Carol Kowalik for sharing this information.**
A first-hand account of the issues at hand at The Mount Vernon Public Library, please view original post here:
(This is a great idea for libraries as a whole… let it serve as inspiration for own local efforts! -TV)
“We are now in the home stretch! We know that you are tired. You have been out every day getting postcards signed, wearing your pink slip pins, talking to the media, staying out all hours of the night reading into the open air, calling 311, and more. We know that you have been sweating it, and so do others. People are starting to notice, so let’s keep the pressure on and push through to the end! The effort is justified – our livelihoods are at stake.
Our newest plan of attack? The Rally Challenge! We challenge everyone everywhere to empower themselves and hold their own library rally. We have posted a Rally Kit below with tools and checklists that will give you guidance and suggestions. Don’t feel intimidated! It doesn’t have to be huge. If one person stops and asks what’s going on, that is a success! If ten people stop, then you have scored a victory and made an impact in the community that you serve.
We’ve only got 10 days left, let’s do it up!
To make it super easy for you, we even made a flyer, just add your rally info where it says “rally info here”
Don’t forget to add your rally to the Save the Libraries Google Calendar so we can all come out!”
UPDATE: To sign up, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, please view the accessible link: www.savenyclibraries.org.
Taken from Facebook event (created by Save NYC Libraries Postcard Campaign)
“Come out and support libraries during the 24 hour We Will Not Be Shushed Read-In. This is going to be a unified libraries effort with readers and library workers from all three tri-li systems. We already have the full endorsement of Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Library administration. This is going to be a huge event in support of libraries.
We need your help! We need readers and we need supporters to come out and help out at the event. We will have a voice reading in front of the library for the full 24 hours. For that to happen it will take many voices to fill the time. Please contact us and sign up for a slot as soon as possible.
Together we can save our libraries and keep our library staff behind the desk where they belong.”
Taken from the Facebook group:
“We are calling on all New Yorkers to write postcards to the New York City Council to show their love for and support of New York City’s public libraries.
The purpose of the Save NYC Libraries Postcard Campaign is to unite library staff and community members in support for New York City’s public library systems (Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library, and Queens Library) and in opposition to the proposed budget cuts for the next fiscal year.
While we understand that New York City is facing a difficult economic climate, we believe that public library service must be strengthened, not dismantled, in order to serve the diverse educational and informational needs of New York City residents.
We want our voice to stand out and apart from mass-produced advocacy campaigns. We believe that personalized, mailed physical items carry greater weight with our elected representatives than a virtual petition or a Facebook group.
We are actively working to partner with interested community groups to Save NYC Libraries. Please contact us if your group or organization would like to sponsor the Save NYC Libraries Postcard Campaign.
SEND ALL POSTCARDS TO
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer
47-01 Queens Boulevard, Suite 205
Sunnyside, NY 11104
Thank you for your support! Together we can raise our voices and make ourselves heard!”
Join the group and get involved: