2018 NYLA Legislative and Budgetary Priorities

Printer Friendly Version of NYLA 2018 Budgetary, Construction and Legislative Priorities (PDF) (11-29)


$100M for Equitable Library Funding

Increase State Library Aid Proportionally with Education Funding


  1. New York State Education Law contemplates State Library Aid of $102.6M for FY 2018-2019
  2. State Library Aid in the FY2017-18 enacted budget was $95.9M, placing library aid at 2006 funding levels.
  3. More than $118M in contemplated statutory State Library Aid has been withheld since FY2007-2008.

Data Points

  1. Library usage and demand for services are surging statewide
    1. A January 2017 Siena Poll found library usage is up statewide over the last five years in all demographics; the greatest increase in usage is among women aged 18-34, communities of color, in New York City and its suburbs, and households making less than $50,000 annually
  2. Libraries are a core component of our state’s educational infrastructure – LIBRARIES ARE EDUCATION
    1. A January 2017 Siena Poll found that 92% of New Yorkers say their local library is an important part of their local education system, with a majority indicating library aid should at least increase in proportion to increases in education funding
    2. Libraries are the leading digital literacy educators in New York State. When schools close at the end of each day, each week, and each school year, libraries remain open to New York’s students and families
  3. Libraries are critical for access and equality
    1. The same January 2017 Siena poll found the local public library is the primary source of internet access  for 20% of African-American and Latino respondents, and 25% of households making less than $50,000 annually
    2. Of the respondents who have used their local public library for job seeking or career building programs in the last six months, 53% were African-American, and 40% were households making less than $50,000 annually
  4. Library systems are models of shared services
    1. Local communities realize $7 in services for every $1 allocated in State Library Aid, according to the most recent statistics from the State Education Department
    2. State Library Aid ensures every community receives quality library services, and relieves local tax burdens


Printer Friendly Version of the NYLA 2018 BUDGET PRIORITY – LIBRARY AID (PDF) (11-29)


Equal Access, IT Infrastructure, and Energy Efficiency

Fund the Public Library Capital Aid Program at $30M


  1. Public libraries require immediate, significant state investment to accommodate advances in technological infrastructure, make investments in energy efficiency, and increase access to differently-abled patrons
  2. The most recent available data provided by the New York State Education Department’s Division of Library Development (DLD) articulates an existing $1.7B in capital needs statewide
  3. The Public Library Capital Aid Program provides an immediate and efficient return on investment while boosting local economies; since 2007, state investment has leveraged more than $500M in local funding – a 5:1 return
  4. Funding for the Public Library Capital Aid Program remained stagnant for a decade prior to recent investment; the accumulated capital needs forced the sale of library buildings, and has eroded operating funds for maintenance

Data Points

  1. New York State’s public libraries are rapidly aging
    1. 48% of local libraries are more than 60 years old; an additional 33% are more than 30 years old
    2. 25% are not accessible to differently-abled patrons
  2. Public Libraries require capital investment to accommodate high-speed broadband infrastructure
    1. A January 2017 Siena poll found that for 25% of households making less than $50,000 annually, the public library is their primary source of internet access
    2. Stagnant funding disproportionately impacts economically disadvantaged communities, widening the digital divide
  3. Public Libraries desperately require energy-efficient infrastructure upgrades
    1. Library use has surged statewide among all demographics, leading to longer hours and increased energy costs
    2. Energy inefficient buildings have increased operating costs and forced reduced staffing and programming
  4. Public Library capital needs have been comparatively underfunded
    1. Public schools: $2.3B, five-year capital investment (Library Capital Aid = 4.1%)
    2. Higher Education: $3.2B, five-year capital investment in SUNY & CUNY
    3. State Parks: $900M, five-year capital commitment to fully address $1B in deferred maintenance


Printer Friendly Version of the NYLA 2018 BUDGET PRIORITY – CONSTRUCTION AID (PDF) (11-29)

NYLA 2018 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA: Equitable Access for All New Yorkers:

Equitable Access to School Libraries and Librarians


  1. NYS youngest learners are denied access to quality school libraries staffed by certified School Library Media Specialists; secondary school students – particularly those in NYC – are denied access through loopholes in SED Regulations.
  2. Students suffer from lack of instruction in information sciences; the inability to properly analyze the source and quality of information leaves students unprepared for post-secondary instruction.


  1. Passing this bill would help ensure that all students are college-ready, lead to more students successfully pursuing graduate studies, and provide better-informed civic discourse.

Access to Publicly-Funded Research


  1. NYS law fails to provide the public with access to scientific and scholarly research funded with state dollars. This legislation requires New York State funded research published in peer-reviewed journals be made available online by the state agencies that underwrite such research.


  1. This bill would simply bring NYS in-line with the federal standards employed by the National Institute of Health and NASA, as well as the State of California.

Universal Access to the Library Construction Aid Program


  1. NYS law disadvantages small and rural communities in need of capital improvements with often-insurmountable matching requirements to access the library construction aid program. This legislation would maintain state oversight of library capital funding, while providing discretion to public library systems to modify the matching thresholds for library construction aid projects.


  1. This legislation removes the economic roadblock small and rural libraries too often face when considering critically-needed capital improvements.

Printer Friendly Version of the NYLA 2018 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA (PDF) (11-29)

Session Sponsors Forthcoming – Contact NYLA for Info

Historic Documents