For the past few months, the three library systems of New York City (the New York Public Library, the Queens Library, and the Brooklyn Public Library) have been pushing Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council for an increase in funding. The campaign has proved successful; a $43 million increase has been approved for the Fiscal Year 2016.
More than 150,000 New York library patrons sent in letters to support this cause. Several authors and celebrities also joined in this fight including Newbery Medal winner Neil Gaiman, In the Unlikely Event novelist Judy Blume, Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz, ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, Oscar-nominated actor Ethan Hawke, and Grammy-winning musician John Legend.
According to the press release, this budget increase “will allow for citywide six-day branch service, as well as an increase in hours and programming seats, more expert library staff, and more. The budget — adopted today — also includes a capital allocation of at least $300 million to libraries over 10 years, which will go towards improving, renovating, modernizing, and repairing library facilities across the city. This is the first time libraries have received such a large, long-term investment, allowing them to adequately plan for the future.”