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NYC libraries open only 5 days a week 

Naziha Jahan

In the face of continuous complications, New York City Public Libraries are under threat due to a $58.3 million cut to the budget proposed by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, which would cause libraries to be open only five days a week. 

The reason for the increasing city budget cuts, according to Adams, is due to the migrant crisis. NYC is housing thousands of migrants which has caused a strain on the city’s bottom line. 

If the cutbacks are not reversed, it is projected that more than 50% of Brooklyn, and about 60% of Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx library branches, will be affected. 

In November of last year, NYPLs were forced to shut down Sunday operations due to a mid-year budget cut of $23.6 million proposed by Adams. 

Leaders of the NYPL, Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Public Library have warned about the effects that these cuts would have on the city. 

“There would be no weekend library service in the borough of Queens, home to 2.4 million,” Dennis Walcott, president of the Queens Public Library said. 

“Weekends are an important time for people to use our libraries.” Walcott continued to express that since the city’s first budget cut to libraries in November, the number of visits to the Queens public libraries has taken a nosedive. At the central location in Jamaica, visits have gone down to 1,000 per Sunday, and 2,000 at the Flushing location.

These budget cuts would lead to the first time in a decade that libraries would not be open six days a week at every branch city-wide. Linda Johnson, president of the Brooklyn Public Library, expressed how these cuts would affect not only her borough, but the city.

“The impact of these cuts is untenable and will result in devastating loss of service. It is heartbreaking to be in this position,” Johnson said. 

Brooklyn Public Libraries are at risk of a $16.2 million cut, which totals 13% of their operating budget. Johnson warned lawmakers of this during the City Council Hearing. 

NYPL that are under renovation, are at risk of having their reopening delayed or permanently shut down and never reopening service if these budget cuts continue. 

Three of these libraries under renovation that are at risk, lie in Johnson’s borough. 

Previous budget cuts, like trash cans on NYC streets, maintenance at parks and school summer programs proposed by Adams have been reversed since tax revenues ended up higher than expected. 

The leaders of the NYPL, Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Public Library met at a City Council budget hearing to push for reversal of the budget cuts they will have to face in the next fiscal year. 

However, NYPL hasn’t received the same luck as other functions of the city. 

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