2019 Library Advocacy Agenda | Building Sustainable Communities

$75M for Library Capital Infrastructure Improvements

Background: Local public libraries require immediate, significant state investment to accommodate advances in IT infrastructure and energy efficient technologies, and to increase accessibility for all patrons.
  1. The most recent available data provided by the NYS Education Department's Division of Library Development (DLD) documents an existing $1.7B in capital needs statewide.
  2. The Public Library Capital Aid Program provides an immediate and efficient return on investment; since 2007, state investment has leveraged more than $580M in local funding - a 5:1 return
Data Points:  
New York States 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
Public Libraries Require Capital Investment to Accommodate high-speed Broadband Infrastructure
  1. A January 2018 Siena poll found that for 27% 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
Public Libraries Desperately Require Energy-efficient Infrastructure Upgrades
  1. Library use has surged statewide among ALL DEMOGRAPHICS, leading to longer hours of operation and increased energy costs
  2. Energy inefficient buildings have increased operating costs and forced reductions in staffing, services, and programming
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 to SUNY & CUNY
  3. State Parks: $900M, five-year capital commitment to fully address $1B in deferred maintenance