Cuts to the city budget mean public libraries will no longer be open seven days a week, officials said.
The last day of Sunday service for the New York Public Library and Queens Public Library will be Nov. 26. For Brooklyn Public Library, the last Sunday service will be Dec. 17.
What You Need To Know
- According to officials, cuts to the city budget mean public libraries will no longer be open seven days a week
- Mayor Eric Adams said the cuts are due to money being diverted towards the migrant influx
- Adams added the city has a $7 billion gap in next year’s budget, but many say the cuts should come from somewhere else
“Without sufficient funding, we cannot sustain our current levels of service, and any further cuts to the Libraries’ budgets will, unfortunately, result in deeper service impacts,” representatives of the three library systems wrote in a joint statement.
According to the statement, the public libraries are also reducing spending on library materials, programming and building maintenance and repairs.
City Hall blamed the cuts, which will impact virtually every city agency, on costs to house and feed asylum seekers.
Locations that currently have Sunday services for the New York Public Library are Bronx Library Center, Grand Concourse and Parkchester in the Bronx; and Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, Jefferson Market and Washington Heights in Manhattan; and Todt Hill–Westerleigh on Staten Island.
In Queens, the locations are Central Library in Jamaica and Flushing Library. In Brooklyn, the locations are Borough Park, Brooklyn Heights, Central, Greenpoint, Kings Highway, Macon, Midwood and New Lots.
Mayor Eric Adams mentioned the city has a $7 billion gap in next year’s budget, but many say the cuts should come from somewhere else.
People weren’t using their indoor voices to express their outrage over the cuts. Protesters outside of City Hall were demanding for an alternative.
“A 5% cut would mean less story-time, less job force work development. It would mean no more seven-day service at any branch. It would also mean less materials and less for New Yorkers,” said Lauren Bradley, board member of Urban Libraries Unite.
Looking to the future, libraries are bracing for deeper budget cuts in fiscal year 2025. For that year, there’s also a proposed 5% cut.
“It’s going to be a big problem,” said Ricky Hartman, who was writing his first book at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library in Manhattan.
Hartman said he hopes things will change and the city will get more funding so deeper budget cuts won’t be in store in the near future.