Library directors head to Albany to fight for funding


(WKTV) - A group of library directors, staff and members of the Mid York Library System spent the day in Albany on Tuesday, lobbying legislators to keep the state funding they say is necessary to operate.

Darby O'Brien, Director of the Utica Public Library, was one of those lobbyists. O'Brien says the state is considering a 10% cut to libraries. According to O'Brien, if this cut is sustained, libraries will have been chopped for the fifth time in three years.

The highest level of state funding was three years ago, when libraries were allocated $102 million. This cut of 10% would bring their funding down to $76 million dollars in 2011.

It would be the smallest amount of funding libraries have seen since 1994, O'Brien said.

Maureen Vondeilen, a frequent patron of the New Hartford Library, says the state should look elsewhere when cutting.

"This is a supplement for a lot of people, a lot of children, a lot of youngsters going to school who need the knowledge that is in here for them to be able to get their hands on," Vondeilen said. "I think it's ideal."

Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed 2011 budget makes cuts to just about every state funded program, and would close a nearly $10 billion budget deficit.

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