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Library hopes to again avoid budgeted funding cut


With the deadline for the state budget four weeks away, a push is on to block a proposed cut in state aid to libraries.Last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a $4 million cut in aid to libraries and legislators put the money back in. This year, Cuomo has again proposed a $4 million aid cut and legislators are being lobbied to put the money back in again.

Buffalo and Erie County Library Director Mary Jean Jakubowski says the cuts affect libraries statewide.

"When you have 700 libraries statewide, obviously it's a bit of money. It's a good chunk of money, but it's monies that is where we should be today had there been no budget cuts throughout the past ten years for library state aid," Jakubowksi says.

Jakubowski says the local library system is large enough that the $4 million cut statewide is a $120,000 cut here. Albany provides $1 million to the local library a year. She says that cut could mean libraries open for fewer hours, with fewer staff members or with fewer programs.

Jakubowski says she and other library leaders are once again looking to restore the money.