Complete 2019 Library Advocacy Agenda

ALBANY, NY – The New York Library Association has released their 2019 advocacy agenda, declaring equitable access to information as a fundamental human right and calling on Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders to protect this right through aggressive investment in library services. Information inequality plagues vulnerable, marginalized, and historically oppressed populations – NY’s failure to act risks creation of a permanent “digital underclass.” The NYLA agenda includes:
•    $200M for Library Aid;
•    $75M for local public library capital and construction aid;
•    $40M in 2020 Census Library-based Complete Count Activities, in this year’s state budget.

NYLA is also advocating for several changes in law to protect all New Yorkers’ rights to equitable access to information resources and education infrastructure:

Equal Access to School Libraries and Librarians
This long-standing priority calls for amending Education Law to require access to a certified school librarian for students in grades K-5.  Current regulations provide for access beginning in grade 6.

Transparent Contracting with Educational Institutions
Many academic libraries are pressured into accepting non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) as part of their contracts with electronic resource providers.  These NDAs stifle competition and transparency and negatively impact the buying power of the institutions.

Universal Access to the Public Library Construction Aid Program
Currently when accessing the Library Construction Aid Program, the locality is required to fund their project with a minimum 25% match.  This threshold is unattainable to many small libraries, effectively barring their participation.  A reduced local matching threshold of 10% is proposed.

Jeremy Johannesen, Executive Director of the New York Library Association: “New York’s libraries are core community educational resources for millions of New Yorkers. We are confident that the new leadership in the legislature stands ready to address the past decade of inequitable funding, and we call on Governor Cuomo to partner with the Senate and Assembly to ensure positive advances in this year’s state budget.”
NYLA encourages supporters to visit nyla.org/advocacy to learn more about how they support of library funding.  

About NYLA:
The New York Library Association (NYLA) is the voice of the library community in New York. NYLA is the oldest state library association in the country and represents school, college, special and public libraries, library staff, trustees, and students from around the state.

NYLA is the only statewide organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of all libraries and library staff in Albany and serves as the spokesperson on library matters to the media and public policymakers.

Complete 2019 Library Advocacy Agenda

For more information contact:
Michael Neppl
General Counsel & Director of Government Relations
New York Library Association
518-432-6952 Ext 102