NYLA Affiliates with NYSUT to Enhance Library Advocacy Efforts

The NYLA Council voted in May to affiliate with the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and their board voted yesterday to approve the two-year agreement.

The affiliation agreement engages NYSUT to enhance NYLA’s advocacy on behalf of libraries. NYSUT’s added clout will come in useful during the next few years as the national economic downturn continues to have a detrimental impact on state and local funding for libraries.

Despite the best efforts of library advocates this year and the increased demand for library services, the Legislature only restored $10 million of a proposed $18 million cut in Library Aid. This is in contrast to the Governor’s proposal to eliminate all $40 million in funding for Teacher Centers (NYSUT supported professional development), which was completely restored by the Legislature.

Many of NYLA’s members are already represented by NYSUT including all of our school librarians, all SUNY/CUNY librarians represented by UUP (which is part of NYSUT) and a growing number of public libraries (e.g. the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, New City Library, Riverhead Free Library, etc.).

NYSUT and NYLA will be working collaboratively together to improve funding for libraries, obtain better salaries, benefits and improve working conditions for our members.