President's Update

by Debby Emerson, NYLA President

This April we certainly have something to celebrate, as the Governor and the Legislature have come to an agreement on the FY2016-17 New York State budget that is very favorable to libraries. We are celebrating a 4.3% increase in state library aid, a $5 million increase in state library construction aid (that’s 35%, and the first increase in a decade), and $1.3 million in MTA Payroll Tax reimbursement. Going forward, public libraries and public library systems are exempt from the MTA Payroll Tax.

Your letters, emails, phone calls and visits with your legislators have had an impact. Our message has been heard: Libraries are Education! Thanks to all of you for your advocacy efforts.

As part of the information gathering process for NYLA’s new Strategic Plan, we will be holding a series of focus groups around the state. These groups will be open to both NYLA members and those who are not yet members – an opportunity for people to let us know what they look for in a professional association, and what they would like NYLA to be doing for them. At this point we have scheduled the following:

Tuesday, April 26, 3:00 pm at the Rochester Regional Library Council in Fairport, NY
Friday, May 6, 11:00 am at the Northern NY Library Network in Potsdam, NY
Friday, May 13, 9:30 am at the Southeastern NY Library Resources Council

We are in the process of planning a focus group for the Albany area, and would still like to visit Metro/Long Island and Western NY. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I look forward to meeting with library folks from all over the state.

Conference planning is well underway. We are back in Saratoga from November 2 – 5, 2016. I hope you have the dates marked on your calendars, because this year’s conference programs look outstanding and there are some great new pre-conference options.  Make your plans now, and we’ll see you in Saratoga!