Libraries should be palaces of learning, ideas and knowledge – and that takes capital funding to ensure our buildings don’t fall into disrepair.
Many of The New York Public Library’s branches are housed in old buildings that need a lot of careful maintenance to keep them functioning. But for decades, NYPL has been dramatically short of capital funding to maintain roofs, heating and air conditioning systems, lighting, computers, Wi-Fi, and more.
Library branches rely on their local elected officials to secure money for the most basic repairs. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been enough. While we celebrated opening new and newly renovated branches in recent years, such as the Stapleton, High Bridge, Bronx Library Center and Battery Park City libraries, other branches still need basic help to remain operational.
Please tell the City Council and other elected officials that New Yorkers need them to support capital funding of libraries, so they can continue to open their doors to 8.3 million New Yorkers each year!
I believe our city libraries should have enough capital funding to be able to keep the building maintained and in good repair and meet all of their basic needs. Additionally, the Mid-Manhattan Library, which receives 1.4 million visits annually, has fallen into disrepair. It needs to be replaced but without disrupting library service during construction as it is NYPL's busiest branch. Capital funding is critical for the entire New York Public Library system, because it both supports the basic needs of library branches and gives the system the ability to change and update with the times.
Your past support of the Library has helped keep these bedrocks of the community going strong, and I can’t thank you enough for your role in making that possible. Your support means my family can enjoy learning, reading and exploring in a library branch with a secure roof, all its lights, and a working heating-and-cooling system. It has also supported our librarians – the helpers and heroes who guide children and students, job seekers searching for employment, journalists and scholars requesting resources, and book lovers looking for amazing new books.
I hope you’ll help make sure NYPL continues to be strong in the future. New Yorkers visited the Library 18 million times last year, and I urge you to ensure that the system stays strong for all of us. Please support capital funding of NYC’s public libraries so that New Yorkers can enjoy the great library service they deserve.