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The New York Public Library to Reduce Branch Hours Following Budget Cuts
The recent announcement of a $5.9 million mid-year City budget cut has necessitated service reductions by The New York Public Library at two-thirds of its locations across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island.
The Library has developed a detailed plan to bridge its Fiscal Year 2010 budget gap (intensified by the loss of $900,000 in State aid), carefully reviewing branch locations, peak hours, and demographics to determine cuts that, while difficult, will be minimally disruptive to the communities it serves.
In the end, the Library has been left with little choice but to reduce service to an average of 45 open hours per week for its neighborhood sites, down from an average of over 51 hours. For Fiscal Year 2010, six-day service will be maintained at all of its locations. While Sunday service will be discontinued at five of nine sites, at least one location in each borough will remain open on Sundays.
“We have worked very hard to maintain as many services as possible in these tough economic times," said New York Public Library President Dr. Paul LeClerc, “and are struggling to sustain the high level of service our patrons have come to expect.
“The unfortunate reality is that more cuts loom on the horizon, and unless there are substantial changes to City and State financial plans, we will be forced to make extremely difficult choices over the next two years,” he added, citing the recently proposed Fiscal Year 2011 City budget. “We will make every effort to ensure that any further cuts are as painless as possible for our patrons, who need our services such as job search assistance and free classes more than ever.”
The new schedule will start on Tuesday, Feb. 16, with Sunday reductions starting on Feb. 21. Please visit the Library’s website for details by clicking www.nypl.org/new-library-hours-effective-february-16-2010 .
About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. Its renowned research collections are located in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem; and the Science, Industry and Business Library at 34th Street and Madison Avenue. Eighty-seven branch libraries provide access to circulating collections and a wide range of other services in neighborhoods throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English for speakers of other languages. All in all The New York Public Library serves more than 17 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at www.nypl.org.
Contact: Angela Montefinise | 212.592.7506 | Angela_Montefinise@nypl.org