BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY APPLAUDS CITY LEADERS FOR RESTORATION OF FUNDING

June 30, 2011

Press Contact:
Jason Carey
Brooklyn Public Library
Phone: 718.230.2209
j.carey@brooklynpubliclibrary.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY APPLAUDS CITY LEADERS FOR RESTORATION OF FUNDING

$23.2 Million of $25 Million Restored, Averting Layoffs and Major Service Cuts


(Brooklyn, NY) June 30, 2011 – Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) lauded Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn and members of the City Council today, one day after the Council approved a FY2012 budget that allocates $82 million to the Brooklyn Public Library. The final budget restores $23.2 million in City funding for the Library out of a proposed $25 million cut, which – at 29% of the Library’s operating budget – would have meant staff layoffs and greatly reduced library services.

"Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn, Councilmembers Recchia, Gentile, Van Bramer and the entire City Council deserve tremendous praise and thanks for their strong support of library service in Brooklyn. The city’s final budget recognizes the critical role our 60 branches play in every community in Brooklyn – from access to millions of books and media to Pre-GED classes, free access to technology, and helping Brooklyn residents find jobs,” said Linda E. Johnson, Interim Executive Director of Brooklyn Public Library.

While the final budget restores critical funding, the Library will operate in FY2012 with $12 million less in City support compared to its 2008 budget, when library service was at an all time high. Even as budgets have tightened, increasing numbers of Brooklynites have visited the library to take advantage of job search resources, Pre-GED classes, free access to technology and literacy classes. Last year, a record number of visitors entered Brooklyn Public Library branches, as circulation and use of technology also hit all-time highs.

Despite budgetary pressures, BPL has continued to expand the services it provides to residents of the borough. Most recently, BPL opened a Passport Application Center at its Central Library, and expanded technology at eight of its branches serving low-income populations. In a borough with a diverse immigrant, teen and senior population, the Library has become a center for access to a host of services and resources.

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Brooklyn Public Library is an independent New York City library system serving the borough of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest in the United States. Its Central Library, Business Library, and 58 neighborhood libraries offer free information, programs and computer access to people of all ages. You can reach the Library's resources of over 70 reference databases, catalog information and news 24 hours a day at www.bklynpubliclibrary.org