photo of empty library shelves with a transparent burgundy overlay

Save NYC Libraries

Because $36.2 million in cuts will

devastate our communities

Statement on the FY2024 NYC Budget

Libraries fully restored! Broader budget cuts will have negative impacts on library workers.

We are so grateful to the city council for fighting so hard for a full funding restoration to public library services. Their advocacy and appreciation for the services libraries provide in our communities is heartening and we are grateful for their stalwart support. Thank you so much to Speaker Adrienne Adams for making libraries one of the council’s top priorities. Thank you to Libraries Chair Chi Ossé and Finance Chair Justin Brannan for their tireless support of libraries. We see your hard work and appreciate it deeply.

We acknowledge Mayor Adams’ role in the full restoration of library funding and appreciate him coming to the table. We never should have been in this budget position in the first place, and with the rest of the budget, Mayor Adams has put library workers in an impossible position. One in which we will be open to the public, and able to do our work, and yet, as always, the needs of the community that aren’t being met by the city will continue to walk through our doors every day.

Libraries exist in a broader ecosystem of educational and social services. As workers in public libraries, the most radically open institution in NYC, we know first hand the consequences of cuts to schools, senior services, homeless services, and mental health resources. Library workers can not continue to fill the holes in our social safety nets. The Urban Library Trauma Study details what happens when social service cuts in the broader community spill over into the public library. These cuts put our constituents at risk of both primary traumatic experiences and continuing vicarious trauma from attempting to meet needs we are not equipped to meet. We can not be the only care that makes up for the wider cuts to services.

While we celebrate the restoration of library funding, we also strongly urge the council to reconsider these broader cuts and continue to negotiate.

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Yeah, we were surprised too

Wait, What's Happening?!

Mayor Adam's preliminary budget proposes a cut of $20.5 Million to the libraries’ baseline funding. If the libraries also lose the $15.7M allocated by the City Council in FY23, the libraries will be facing a potential loss of $36.2 Million.

All this at a time when libraries are helping our communities recover from the pandemic and the social isolation that was exacerbated by Covid. Libraries are too important to our communities to defund.

Help us Save NYC Libraries today.

NYC Libraries Create Community


Libraries are the duct tape that holds our neighborhoods together. In good times, libraries provide a space for gathering and building our knowledge and relationships. When things are stressful libraries leverage their relationships to become a lifeline for their neighbors, helping with access to the information that they need to make their lives better.

Funding Libraries = Funding our Communities

What Libraries Do

Libraries and Library staff connect our communities to information and society. Library staff connect our neighbors both in and out of our buildings. In uncertain times we provide a social linking place in our communities. We work to fuel the soul of NYC, and will continue to do so.

What Libraries Are

Libraries are the staff that makes them tick, and that staff is made up of caring professionals committed to access, equity, literacy and privacy. Library staff who believe that everyone deserves access to information and learning free from bias are working every day to try to make sure that our neighbors have that access.

More Things You Can Do

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Volunteer with us!

Ready to join the fight for NYC libraries? We can only do it with dedicated volunteers like you!

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Call your City Council Member

That's right, use the phone! Call your council member's office, and let them know you are upset about these cuts. Don't know who your council member is? Find them by entering your address at the link below.

Sign up!

This Budget Hurts More Than Libraries

The impacts of Mayor Adam's careless budget cuts will be felt across all of our communities, and cuts to vital social services will also impact library workers and patrons.

As a coalition partner in the People's Budget Campaign, ULU urges you to also advocate for a People's Budget, one that works to care for all of our neighbors with the resources and services that really create a safer and more vibrant city.

Help Fight for a People's Budget

These budget cuts are ridiculous and unnecessary, make your voice heard today.

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Save NYC Libraries is a campaign of Urban Librarians Unite, a passionate group of urban library professionals and advocates working to support libraries and library workers in urban environments.