History of Funding for Libraries and Library Systems in New York

by Leonard Meinhold, Director, North Country Library System (2003)
*updated by MHLS (2004/2005/2006/2007/2008/2009/2010)

1990

No increase. Law passed to increase Ch. 917 $15 million over three years. None of these funds were actually appropriated. Libraries receive $70.5 million.

1991

Appropriation decreased. Additional $5 million appropriated. 10.5% cut for a total of $68.5 million final appropriation

1992

No increase.

1993

Additional $4.8 million appropriated for a total of $73.3 million

1994

Additional $8.2 million appropriated for a total of $81.5 million

1995

No increase.

1996

No increase in statutory aid; $2 million appropriated in one-time funds for Electronic Doorway Library program.

1997

Increase of $.8 million to $82.8 million. Additional $2 million appropriated in one-time funds for Electronic Doorway Library Program

1998

Additional $5.9 million increase appropriated to finally fully fund Ch. 917 (passed in 1990) at $88.5 million.

1999

No increase.

2000

$5 million added as a one-time special legislative project. Total $93.5

2001

Appropriation decreased by $5 million from prior year. Total of 88.9 appropriated
2000 Census results ignored (costing MHLS $71,000)

2002

No increase.
2000 Census results ignored (costing MHLS another $71,000)

2003*

After the Governor proposed a 15% cut the legislature overrode the budget and restored funding to 2001 level. Therefore, no increase.
2000 Census results ignored (costing MHLS another $71,000)

2004

5% cut totaling $4.4 million statewide, $85,000 for MHLS
2000 Census results ignored
(costing MHLS another $71,000)

2005

After the Governor proposed the continuation of the 5% cut, the legislature restored it in their budget bill, but could not come to consensus on an increase in library aid.
2000 Census results ignored for the fifth straight year ($71,000 X 5 = $355,000)

2006

No increase.
2000 Census results ignored for the sixth straight year ($71,000 X 6= $426,000)

2007

$20 million increase:

  • The use of the 2000 Census figures in the library funding formula
    • Resulting in approximately $71,000 annually for MHLS from this point forward
  • $3 million for systems
    • Resulting in a one-time allotment of approximately $70,000 for MHLS
  • $14 million for public library construction
    • Resulting in a one-time allotment of approximately $521,000 for MHLS member libraries
2008 2007 increases repeated + additional $5 million for systems.
(System and construction aid are still one-time allotments.)
2009 The $5 million was restored for a total of $8 million over the 917 legislated amount. However, a 8% cut was imposed to all state aid including base System Aid, Outreach Central Library and Local Library Services Aid (LLSA) - the money local libraries receive directly from the state.

The $14 million for public library construction was retained, this is a one-time allotment).

2010

$2.4 million in Library Aid cuts were approved, reducing Library Aid to $84.4 million or below 1998 levels.

The NYS Division of the Budget put into effect the FMAP Contingency Allocation Plan (Lock Box Reduction) that will result in an across the board cut of 1.1% to a majority of local government assistance payments, including Library Aid. The additional cut to Library Aid amounts to $833,334 more than the $2.4 million cut included in the recently adopted 2010-11 State Budget.