Monday, December 10, 2007


The Board of Regents approved a budget proposal for libraries for 2008-2009. The proposal includes two parts - the New York Library Initiative, and an item in the State Aid to Schools Proposal.

The total request for libraries from the Board of Regents, including both the New York Library Initiative and the State Aid to Schools item is $57.3 million. The proposal is broken down as follows:


* New York’s Statewide Internet Library - $10 million annually to
fund a permanent Statewide Internet Library to serve higher education, research and development, business and industry, and students. This would include $2.5 million for library systems to assist their member libraries in using new technologies. A pilot project funded with federal dollars can be seen at

* Libraries and Systems: Partnerships that Build Capacity - $11
million annually, including the continuation of the $8 million in 2007
- 2008 library systems aid to enable local libraries to benefit from cooperative ventures, including shared catalogs, collections, and cost effective technical services and a $3 million increase to all library programs to ensure that the $100 million total aid to libraries keeps
pace with inflation. In addition, the Regents proposal includes
$750,000 annually to strengthen local accountability through training and support programs for governing boards and trustees.

* Public Library Construction - $20 million annually to repair
library buildings and provide energy efficiency and accessibility for people with disabilities with funding for renovation and construction.

* Growing Readers @ the Library: Raising Academic Outcomes - This
includes: $5 million annually for cooperative early literacy programs for youngsters birth to age 5; $1 million annually to expand summer reading programs in libraries; $800,000 annually to provide more support for library materials and services for the blind and physically disabled; $750,000 annually to open the State Library and State Archives to the public on Saturdays.


* Increase School Library Materials Aid from the current $6.25 per
pupil to $10 per pupil.

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