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A majority of New Yorkers–95 percent–said in an online survey that Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s proposed $11 million funding cut to public libraries would hurt the city’s communities, according to the Daily News; scaled-back hours and reduced programs like free after-school options for teens would curtail staffing and hiring across all five boroughs. Now, actress Sarah Jessica Parker is adding her celebrity firepower to help rescue the city’s libraries with an online campaign, the New York Post reports.
The Ottendorfer Public Library in the East Village was the first free public library in New York City. Image via Wikimedia.
The aforementioned survey was released to coincide with National Library Week in April. Also among the responses: 97 percent of New Yorkers feel that low-income families, immigrants, children and senior citizens in particular benefit from library access.
The “Sex and the City” star launched a website dedicated to opposing the funding cut. The site urges supporters to post virtual “sticky notes” that highlight the important role their library branch plays in the community. Parker said in an email statement, “As Carrie Bradshaw might, I couldn’t help but wonder: Can New York City survive without strong public libraries? Could, I as a New Yorker accept cuts to our wonderful, important, necessary, and beloved libraries? I’m sorry. I can’t.”
Hundreds of people have posted notes with their names and local book nooks. Parker called her local Jefferson Market Library in Greenwich Village a “regular neighborhood stop for books, programs, and more, it is a cornerstone, a beacon, and one of the most beloved buildings in our community. I don’t know what we’d do without it.”
The city’s libraries have requested $35 million in additional funding in Fiscal Year 2020 and $963 million over 10 years in the 10-Year Capital Plan; the funding is needed for renovations, technology upgrades and critical maintenance. The mayor’s proposal would mean an $8 million blow to their 2020 budgets and a potential $8 million loss of one-year City Council funding. The City Council will decide on the budget by June 30.
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