What do we want? LIBRARIES! When do we want them? NOW!

It’s time to do the one thing that makes the most sense when it come to protesting library cuts.

Read

Libraries in New York City are facing a cumulative cut of more than 38% since Fiscal Year 2009. A cut this deep will devastate library services throughout the city, leaving the majority of locations open less than 30 hours a week. Hundreds of library workers will be laid off, a major loss of dedicated public servants. Access to materials and essential programs will be cut dramatically.

In the “information age” it is patently ridiculous to defund libraries. We are an essential service for the people of New York, and need a stable funding stream to keep providing the level of service that New Yorkers have become accustomed to and deserve. Show NYC’s decision makers that you care about libraries, about the services they provide , and about what they stand for, free access to education and opportunity for everyone. Add your voice to the mass of supporters fighting to keep our libraries open.

Read

The 2nd Annual We Will Not Be Shushed 24 Hour Read-In will begin at 4pm on June 11th and go straight through until 4pm on June 12th. We’ll be reading out to support libraries at Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza.

A sign up form will be available on www.savenyclibraries.org beginning at 9am on Monday May 23.

Put in your name, email address and first and second choice of time, and we’ll get back to you with a time as fast as we can. Please be patient with us, as we are an all volunteer group.

Come out and read, invite your friends, and show your support for New York City’s libraries!

It’s Going to Be a Busy May!

What’s that you say? You want to help save NYC’s libraries? Super! Now that the Mayor has added an additional 9 million dollars to his slate of cuts it’s more neccessary than ever. You can come to any or all of the many advocacy events being planned for this month.

Upcoming events:

May 14th – 11am – Love Your Library Day with Lost in the Stacks

Brooklyn Public Library At Grand Army Plaza

Come down and support your library while enjoying the music of Lost In The Stacks. Love Your Library Day will include an advocacy rally, activities for children, fundraising for our collection (Support Our Shelves), and of course, live music from LITS. While you’re there, don’t forget to contact your councilperson and Mayor Bloomberg to let them know you oppose further cuts to our city’s libraries.

May 18th – 3:30 – Queens Library Rally at Flushing Community Library

Join Borough President Helen Marshall and CEO Tom Galante at a rally to save Queens Library.

May 21st – 11am – Boardwalk for Books

Walkers will walk from either 60th Street or 116th Street Boardwalk entrances toward Beach 92nd Street. We will meet and converge on Peninsula Library where a Save Queens Library Rally will take place at 12:30. Walk with us, Rally with us, and Stand Up for Queens Libraries!

May 23rd – 10am – Library Budget Hearing and Rally

The Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations will hold a joint hearing on the Mayor’s budget with the Finance Committee, and the Select Committee on Libraries. Keep an eye on this site for more info about this rally!

May 26 – 11am – Library Rally at City Hall

Come tell the Mayor and City Council how much you value your library services! We’ll meet at the fountain in City Hall Park and march to the steps together.

Let’s get it started!

It’s time to advocate for libraries in New York City again. The budget looks to be as bad as last year if not worse.

We have an incredible range of campaigns and events planned for this year and we will need your help every step of the way. Please save the date June 11-12th. Brooklyn Public Library is kind enough to host us again for another 24 Hour Read-In.

To get started RIGHT NOW we are getting another postcard campaign going to our good friend and supporter City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. His office will be collecting postcards from all over the city (the country? the world?). He will present them to the City Council to support his case that libraries are an important public resource in our fair city.

Grab a postcard (any postcard will do), write a couple of words (seriously two words is enough), and drop it in the mail to Jimmy’s office. If you get your friends and family to write a card (each), put them all in an envelope and drop it in the mail. Keep a few in your pocket for when you are at a church, or a bar, or a library, or anywhere people care about free education and resources for everyone.

Here is the address, we rely upon you:
Jimmy Van Bramer
47-01 Queens Boulevard
Suite 205
Sunnyside, New York 11104

From Our Friends and Supporters at the Archivists Round Table

Public libraries aren’t the only institutions facing difficult choices in this budget cycle. The City Council is holding a hearing this Wednesday regarding the possible merger of DORIS, the Department of Records and Information Services and the DCAS, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.  For more information and to make your voice heard on this issue, please see the information below.

Information Sheet on the Proposed Merger of DORIS & DCAS

Issue Summary and How You Can Help

SUMMARY

New legislation is currently under review by the City Council that will change the administrative structure of the Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS), the department that is responsible for the NYC Municipal Archives, City Hall Library, and records programs. The proposed legislation merges DORIS into the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), a larger and less specialized agency. The proposal must be brought before the City Council and approved by its members before it can be enacted. A Fact Sheet on the proposed merger is available here: http://www.nycarchivists.org/graphics/uploads/2011/03/Fact-Sheet.pdf

THE STATED REASONS FOR THE MERGER

The Commissioners of DCAS and DORIS, who support the merger, contend that the change will reinvigorate DORIS and enhance the services it already provides. They believe that as part of DCAS, DORIS would receive assistance with functions unrelated to its mission that drain its resources, including budget and fiscal operations, legal operations, personnel, procurement and contracting, and IT support.

In addition, the commissioners feel that a merger of DORIS and DCAS would shield DORIS from mandatory cuts to its operating budgets. DORIS absorbs cuts to its own budget as an independent agency, as part of DCAS, these cuts would be shared by all of DCAS.

READ THE LEGISLATION

Text of the merger legislation can be found here:

http://nyc.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=846429&GUID=1690D76B-6EB7-4D67-9D5E-B0834F1B9D4A&Options=&Search

CONCERN AMONG INFORMATION PROFESSIONALS AND OTHERS

There are concerns among archivists, records mangers, historians, and genealogists regarding the proposed merger of DORIS and DCAS. ART held two meetings in early April. The first, on April 4th, provided a forum for members to discuss the issue. The second, on April 5th, provided a forum for members of several professional organizations to discuss the issue (meeting notes from this meeting are here: http://www.nycarchivists.org/graphics/uploads/2011/04/SummaryFinal.pdf )

The discussions at both meetings generated several concerns and recommendations that ART compiled into a document that was submitted to the City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations. The document can be read here: http://bit.ly/e1hkIw .

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

TO VOICE YOUR OPINION IN PERSON

The Committee on Governmental Operations will hold a public hearing on the proposed merger legislation on Wednesday, April 27th at 1:00pm at 250 Broadway, 14 Floor, Manhattan.  Directions and information on security procedures can be found here:

http://council.nyc.gov/html/calendar/directions.shtml

Rachel Chatalbash, President of ART, will be testifying at the hearing on behalf of ART.

Any member of the public is welcome to testify at the hearing, for or against the measure. Anyone who wishes to testify (including those invited to testify) must fill out an appearance form (a “yellow slip”) with the sergeant-at-arms, who will be seated near the entrance to the hearing room.

Speakers will be arranged into panels. Although witnesses do not have to pre-register, it is helpful for the committee to know in advance in order to better arrange the panels. Please contact Seth Grossman, Counsel to the Committee, in advance if you intend to speak at the hearing. His e-mail address is sgrossman@council.nyc.gov .

Witnesses should bring twenty double-sided copies of any written testimony they wish to submit to the committee.

TO VOICE YOUR OPINION IN WRITING

If you are unable to attend this hearing you can still let the City Council know that this issue is important to you.

You may submit written testimony for the hearing. Send this testimony to Seth Grossman, Counsel to the Committee on Governmental Operations, at sgrossman@council.nyc.gov. He will make sure that it goes in the record and is considered by the Committee members.  Written testimony should be submitted prior to the hearing; at the latest, on April 25th.

You may also send letters or emails to the members of the Committee on Governmental Operations, as well as your own Council representative. (Names and addresses of the committee members are listed below. You may find your own City Council Member here: http://council.nyc.gov/html/members/members.shtml .)

City Council Members need to receive your letters by Monday, April 25th. All letters sent to the City Council should be copied to Gale Brewer, Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations; and Seth Grossman, Counsel to the Committee.

Committee on Governmental Operations:

Gale A. Brewer, Chair, Committee on Governmental Operations, New York City Council, 250 Broadway, Suite 1744, New York, NY 10007   gbrewer@council.nyc.gov

Inez E. Dickens, Committee on Governmental Operations, New York City Council, 250 Broadway, Suite 1875, New York, NY, 10007   idickens@council.nyc.gov AND to District Office Director, Lermond Mayes, lwmayes@gmail.com

Erik Martin Dilan, Committee on Governmental Operations, New York City Council, 3250 Broadway, Suite 1763, New York, NY 10007   Edilan@council.nyc.gov

Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., Committee on Governmental Operations, New York City Council, 250 Broadway, Suite 1785, New York, NY 10007   drecchia@council.nyc.gov

Peter F. Vallone, Jr., Committee on Governmental Operations, New York City Council, 250 Broadway, New York City Council, Suite 1754, New York, NY, 10007   pvallonejr@council.nyc.gov

Seth Grossman, Counsel to the Committee on Governmental Operations, New York City Council, 250 Broadway, 14th Floor, New York, New York, 10007   SGrossman@council.nyc.gov