by Debby Emerson, NYLA President
It’s budget time again! Governor Cuomo has presented his draft budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year and thanks to all of your efforts, the news is good for libraries. The additional $5 million for libraries that we worked so hard to secure last year was included in the budget proposal. The budget proposal includes an additional $992 million in education funding, which amounts to a 4.3% increase. We need everyone’s help in reminding your elected officials that Libraries are Education, and must be treated fairly in the final version of the budget. TAKE ACTION NOW and let your elected officials know that State Library Aid MUST increase in proportion to any increase in overall education funding.
We sometimes think our individual efforts are insignificant. That is simply not true. Your elected officials need to hear from you. They need to know that you, your family members, and your friends feel that funding for libraries should be a priority. The more faxes, phone calls, and emails they receive, the greater the impact. Visit the NYLA website today and take action (and encourage your family and friends to do so as well!). The process is simple and more critical than ever.
I hope to see many of you in Albany for Pre-Advocacy Day and Library Advocacy Day, March 1 and 2. Several of NYLA’s committees are going to be meeting on March 1 at the Albany Hilton. This is an opportunity for you to get involved, meet people and provide input to your committees. Both the Continuing Education Committee and the Membership Committee will be holding Community Conversations from 11:00 am – 12 noon at the hotel. Your ideas will be incorporated into each committee’s input for the NYLA Strategic Plan. The Sustainability Initiative Committee will be meeting March 1 in the afternoon and welcomes anyone interested in the sustainability effort. In the afternoon there are also several professional development opportunities – learn how to plan successful employee performance evaluations and how to deal with the media! Then join your colleagues for the Library Champions reception at 5:30 pm, where we’ll thank all the library supporters who spoke out for library legislation during the last legislative session.
Advocacy Day is a busy time for everyone, but also lots of fun. You’ll meet lots of people, have a chance to talk about libraries, and be doing important work on behalf of your library and your professional organization. See you there!