Libraries in NYC serve over 35 million people a year with usage increasing over 100 percent in the last decade, and they provide their services with less than .44 percent of the city budget. With new funding and a new strategy, city leaders are hoping to harness the full potential of NYC libraries, Via Daily News
Right now, the city’s public libraries serve over 35 million visitors annually, but they do so with less than 0.44% of the city budget. The $432 million allocated to libraries annually is 30% less than to the Parks Department, 63% less than to the Correction Department, and 92% less than to the Police Department.
Now is the moment to change this. The new generation of city leaders taking office in January should finally give libraries the resources to keep pace with the growing demand for their programs and services — and meet the challenges of the post-pandemic recovery.
With a funding bump to $1 billion a year, libraries could scale up their most effective programs. That could mean expanding popular drop-in homework help programs at a time when so many young students fell behind during the pandemic, boosting digital skills training when tech is driving so much of the growth in good jobs, providing one-on-one advising to a lot more aspiring minority entrepreneurs at a time when high unemployment rates are prompting many to turn to entrepreneurship, and expanding teen centers at a time when young adults have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic.
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