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New York City budget cuts impact public library services

melanzane1013| Flickr
melanzane1013| Flickr

In the wake of New York’s budget crisis, The New York Public Libraries announced that they would no longer be operational on Sundays beginning in Dec. 2023 due to mid-year city budget cuts.

The NYPL released a statement following the financial decision stating how the libraries will operate.

“Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Public Library, and The New York Public Library regret to announce that as a result of mid-year budget cuts, we must eliminate seven-day service across the city, including ending Sunday service at the vast majority of locations that currently offer it,” the statement read.

The NYPL chose Sunday, despite it being known as popular for visits, because staff costs are 50% higher on that given day.

Due to the cuts, the public libraries cannot purchase new materials and fund new programming. The public libraries’ infrastructure will also take a hit as maintenance and repairs halt.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams cites the ongoing migrant crisis as the blame for implementing the city’s budget cuts, Fox5NY reported. Adams defends the cuts, saying they are necessary following the financial need of aiding incoming migrants, and without assistance from the federal government, the cuts will grow over time.

During a Nov. 2023 Brooklyn town hall meeting, Adams went as far as to calling out the federal government for their lack of assistance.

“DC has abandoned us, and they need to be paying their cost to this national problem,” Adams said.

The needs of the ongoing migrant crisis have hit the majority of services in the city outside of libraries.

All city agencies will see a five percent cut to their budgets, which is expected to happen at least two more times next year. The education department will lose $547 million in its fiscal year and another $600 million in 2025, making it a total of 1 billion dollars slashed within two years the NYPL, rallies were held around the city as a part of the “#NoCutsToLibraries” campaign this past spring. The efforts of everyone involved in the campaign led to a restoration of the cuts.

The last NYPL Sunday service was in Nov. 2023. There has yet to be a future plan for the NYPL to reopen its doors on Sundays.

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Jahlil Rush
Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant
Jahlil Rush is a Production Assistant for The Ticker.
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