All that library hugging has paid off! Just in time for the arrival of Dr. Anthony Marx, the incoming president of the New York Public Library who starts work next week, $36.7 million of the proposed $40 million in NYPL budget cuts has been restored by the city government. The proposed cuts were the largest in the library’s history, would have resulted in the closure of library branches and more limited hours, and generated tens of thousands of letters in protest.
Here is the statement from New York Public Library Public Relations Director Angela Montefinise about the restored budget:
Thanks to a sizable restoration from the City, all of our 90 locations across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island will remain open, which means the people of New York will still have access to the critically important free services we offer that are being used now more than ever–computers and Internet, books, programs, classes, job search resources, and more. This budget also preserves a minimum of five-day service in our system, and allows us to avoid layoffs. We want to thank the people of New York for making their voices heard during a difficult budget season, and letting the City know how important libraries are to all. We also want to thank Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council for keeping libraries open.
Yes, the bibliopocalypse has been prevented, and the fundraising prowess of the library’s new president might even bring in the remaining $3.3 million. Dr. Marx comes to the library from Amherst college, where he set fundraising records and secured the two largest donations in the institution’s history.