Take Action and Support Local Control of New York Public Libraries
This news comes from the New York Library Association and is a call to action to stand up for local control of New York Libraries.
As of August 6, 2015 New York Libraries have less than a week to stand up for the right of local New York voters to determine the fate of their local libraries.
Last year the Governor took an unprecedented step and vetoed the Starr Library of Rhinebeck’s special district legislation. The veto effectively disenfranchised the voters of Rhinebeck, denying them their democratic right to determine the kind of library they want – the very people who use these library services and pay the tax levy to support this valued community resource.
Given that the Governor has previously signed legislation allowing local voters the right to create a special public library district, this veto represented fundamental opposition on the part of the Governor to the formation of new Special Public Library Districts. This opposition could leave the pathway for the creation of new special public library districts blocked, a severe blow to the sustainable funding landscape for public libraries in New York.
The Starr Library board, with the help of Assemblyman Kevin Cahill and Senator Sue Serino reintroduced their special district legislation. The Seymour Library also had special district legislation introduced this session (A.1273 and A.7735-A) – both passed through the legislature with near unanimous support and have been called up to the Governor’s desk. We have less than a week to influence the Governor’s next action.
Will you speak up on behalf of local voter rights? Will you help preserve the special district option for New York’s Libraries? Will you help the Governor understand that special district option is necessary to preserve essential library services in New York?
The special district option:
1) Increases transparency of a public library through local control of the election of trustees and a public vote on the library’s tax levy;
2) Increases accountability of the library in their transition from association to a special district public library; and
3) Is the #1 recommendation in the Regents Advisory Council’s Vision 2020 Plan as a strategic direction for New York’s public libraries.
You can read more from the NYLA Website here, but if you’re ready to take action NOW please use the NYLA Online Advocacy Center to easily speak up for the preservation of the special district model in New York, your voice matters.