Wednesday evening, Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn and the City Council approved the Fiscal Year 2014 City budget, and for the first time in years, the City's three library systems did not lose any funding. The New York Public Library's proposed $47 million budget cut—which would have forced a serious decline in service, including diminished hours and possibly even branch closings—was restored in full, meaning the system's 91 locations will continue to operate at current levels of service.
This wonderful news would not be possible without the efforts of the public, who answered our call and together sent 130,000 letters of support to local elected officials, urging them to protect the city's libraries and restore the much-needed funding. Your voices rang out loud and clear, and for that, we are immeasurably grateful. Thank you so much for your support. It made a real difference.
Looking towards the future, we hope that this year's budget success signals the end of a pattern of annual cuts to libraries; since Fiscal Year 2008, The New York Public Library has sustained a cumulative city budget cut of $24 million. With your continued support, and the continued support of elected officials who restored our funding this year, we hope not only to avoid future cuts, but to see our budget increase so we can do even more for our patrons.
Once again, thank you so much for your support.