On Wednesday, multitudes of librarians and library supporters will descend on Empire State Plaza in Albany for Library Advocacy Day. State library aid is now at 1997 levels, which is $20 million less than state Education Law mandates.
Libraries are a core piece of our state’s educational system. Yet in a year where education funding increased 3.8 percent, library funding suffered a 4.7 percent reduction. Merely restoring the $4 million cut by Gov. Andrew Cuomo still leaves library funding drastically short of the $102 million mandated in education law, and reverses years of progress towards full funding. Despite the talents and dedication of librarians across the state, it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide 21st-century libraries with 20th-century funding.
Due to the voices of 2,300 people who sent emails, Gov. Cuomo restored $4 million in library aid, but that still leaves libraries doing more with less. Library aid in New York state is down 20 percent compared to 2007 levels, yet the number of items borrowed has increased 11 percent. To put it in perspective, library aid is less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the New York state budget. To fully fund library aid would require less than 4 percent of the proposed 4 percent increase in education aid. Join with other library advocates and make your voice heard by contacting your elected officials.
Go to our website (www.hmloneonta.org) for a direct link to send a letter to your representative. There are other ways to be heard too. Tweet your love of libraries to #NYLALAD14 or #LIBRADVOCACY14. Not sure what to tweet? Here’s a few suggestions:
• Libraries saved NYers $1.8B in ‘11 versus the cost of buying the items borrowed. Fully fund Library Aid. #NYLALAD14 or
• Libraries are the #1 point of internet access for those that do not have access at home. Fund Library Aid #NYLALAD14.
You can also find your elected representative on Facebook and/or Twitter. Post messages directly to their accounts.
Libraries are educational institutions, delivering learning opportunities at every stage of life. Parents introduce their children to books and foster a love of reading beginning with “lap-sit” story time programs that serve to develop early literacy skills. From elementary through high school, librarians provide instruction that fosters critical thinking and information analysis to prepare students for college and career readiness. Libraries continue to serve a crucial role in higher education, fueling research and providing focused navigation to an unending stream of information. Following formal education, libraries continue to serve the needs of the public, addressing human curiosity and hunger for information. Libraries are key components of New York’s educational infrastructure.
Libraries make for better communities, a better informed public, bridge the ‘digital divide’ and support the functioning of democracy. Supporting library funding is an investment in New York’s economic recovery, an investment in New York’s educational and cultural infrastructure, an investment in New York’s citizens, and an investment that will produce a substantial return and make a lasting positive difference for New York state.
Libraries are essential.
Libraries are education.
Libraries are information.
Libraries are efficient.
Fully fund Library Aid to $102 Million.
New to the fiction bestseller’s list is “Ripper” by Isabel Allende, “One More Thing” by B.J. Novak, “Confessions of a Wild Child” by Jackie Collins, and “Cell” by Robin Cook. According to Harper Collins, “Isabel Allende — the New York Times bestselling author whose books, including Maya’s Notebook, Island Beneath the Sea, and Zorro, have sold more than 57 million copies around the world — demonstrates her remarkable literary versatility with ‘Ripper,’ an atmospheric, fast-paced mystery involving a brilliant teenage sleuth who must unmask a serial killer in San Francisco.” Random House states that “B.J. Novak’s ‘One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories’ is an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original debut that signals the arrival of a brilliant new voice in American fiction.” In “Confessions of a Wild Child” by Jackie Collins, you’ll meet Lucky Saint, a 15-year-old wild child who discovers her mother’s murdered body floating in the swimming pool when she was only five years old. “Cell” by Robin Cook is his latest medical thriller and the title refers to an app used by physicians on their cellphones.
The new Nonfiction title on the Best Seller’s list is The Triple Package by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfield, Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan and All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior. The Triple Package is co-written by Amy Chua who is best known for her parenting book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. In her new book she discusses three character traits of eight successful immigrant groups in the US. This is sure to generate a fire storm of criticisms. Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan pays homage to motherhood in general and looks into the notion of reconciling with your own mother. All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior looks at a new twist in parenting books. Instead of looking at how parenting affects children, Senior talks about the effects of children on their parents.
Library Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.
Tina Winstead is director of Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta. Her column appears in the community section of The Daily Star every Monday. Her columns can be found online at www.thedailystar.com/librarycorner.