Library Advocacy Day 2016: Library Horror Stories
As NYLA prepares for Library Advocacy Day 2016, we knew the challenge we faced; we had set a legislative priority of fair funding for the state's Public Library Construction Aid Program, which has remained stagnant for a decade at $14M annually.
New York's library community is used to doing a lot with a little, and offering amazing resources and services to patrons in spite of ongoing funding shortages. But to convince elected officials that New York's libraries desperately need their help, we needed to show the grim reality behind that positive front. We needed to pull back the curtain and show them just how critical the situation really is.
NYLA put out a call for "Library Horror Stories" - stories and photos that illustrate long-overdue infrastructure repairs or upgrades, jobs that keep getting pushed back due to a lacking of adequate funding.
The response was immediate and overwhelming. Pictures poured in from around the state showing serious overcrowding, out-of-order facilities, chronic water damage and leaks, inaccessible stairways and program spaces, and much more. Some of these images, along with a Siena poll showing that library usage is up (therefore increasing even more the strain on New York's libraries), were compiled into a report for advocates to present to the elected officials they meet with on Advocacy Day. The rest we present to you in the slide show below.