Two years ago when Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed plans to cut library funding, there was a massive outcry. That scream is once again echoing across the city and we are still not sure where Mayor Eric Adams is on this issue: did he walk back his plan to cut more than $36 million from the budget?
Mr. Mayor, we need to discuss where we are on this matter because it is of grave importance in all 50 districts and their libraries, particularly as it pertains to staffing, hours of operation, and book acquisitions.
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On the related matter of books and reading, we are equally interested in your plans to improve reading among our grade-school children where it was reported that half of the children in grades three to eight are not proficient in reading. And that Black, Latino, and low-income children are faring even worse.
It’s good to hear that Schools Chancellor David Banks is on the case with a plan to remedy a condition that handicaps children in their educational learning.
There is an obvious connection between libraries, books, and reading and to cut opportunities to acquire one while limiting the other is a blatant contradiction.
Keeping our libraries open and increasing the literary skills of our young people, Mayor Adams, should be uppermost on your agenda—and your budget.
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