Proposed city budget to cut over $30 million from libraries, halting weekend services
Libraries across New York City are saying the mayor’s proposed budget cuts could mean the loss of weekend service and programs.
The City Council and Mayor Eric Adams have until June 30 to finalize how public funding will be divvied up between the city's operations, services, construction and more. However, according to the library, that plan includes cutting from the library budget $36.2 million for the 2024 fiscal year, which starts July 1.
In a statement to News 12, officials representing the library systems for each borough said that losing this money would force the library to suspend Saturday hours at a number of locations and end Sunday hours altogether.
They say budget cuts would also delay maintenance and repairs and push back their plans to renovate libraries in need of an upgrade.
Community members News 12 spoke to at a library in the Bronx say they rely on many of the programs offered on the weekends, including youth read-a-longs and tax preparation help.
"It's bad, it's bad," said Park Slope's Odessa McQuone. "I hope it doesn't happen a lot of people come here on weekends."
The mayor's office responded with a statement saying, "This administration has made critical investments in the city’s three library systems and recognizes the vital role they play in our communities. We have asked agencies to achieve savings in response to fiscal and economic conditions, including a projected $4.3 billion asylum seeker costs, slowing tax revenue, and potential cuts and cost shifts from the state. We are working with our libraries to help them meet the needs of New Yorker they serve, and will continue this work throughout the budget process.”