State Lawmakers Call for Restoration of City Budget Cuts to Queens Public Library

Fresh Meadows, New York Assemblymember Nily Rozic and Assemblymember Edward Braunstein have joined forces to advocate for the restoration of budget cuts to the Queens Public Library system. In a joint appearance today, the elected officials, along with community advocates, emphasized the critical importance of funding for library services to prevent prolonged service delays and ongoing branch closures. The Hillcrest branch of the Queens Public Library is in jeopardy of remaining closed due to budget cuts that Mayor Adams has proposed. Assemblymember Rozic and Assemblymember Braunstein are calling on Mayor Eric Adams and city officials to reconsider these cuts and prioritize investment in the Queens Public Library system.

The Queens Public Library system serves as a cornerstone of the community, providing essential resources and programming to residents of all ages and backgrounds. However, recent budget cuts threaten to undermine the accessibility and quality of services offered by the library, jeopardizing its ability to serve the needs of the community effectively. 

Assemblymember Rozic said, “Libraries are essential institutions that provide resources and support to our communities. Now, the City must invest in our libraries to ensure that they remain accessible and vibrant centers of learning and enrichment for all residents of Queens.”

“New York City’s public library systems are facing $58.3M in proposed budget cuts this year – and that is on top of the mid-year cuts that already forced reductions in books, programs and maintenance, as well as the end of seven-day service. If these extensive budget cuts go through, it would be a devastating blow to library-goers across all five boroughs, but most especially in Queens, where so many families rely on our libraries, library programs and weekend service,” said Council Member James F. Gennaro. “But outside of the numbers and the statistics, the Mayor’s budget cuts will have a real impact on those that need our libraries the most. For so many, the library is more than just a place to go – it is a safe haven, a place to read and escape from a troubled home, a place to make new friends, a place to learn proper job etiquette before a big interview, or a place to learn important life skills, like how to balance a checkbook. I urge Mayor Eric Adams to look at better solutions to fund the city’s fiscal crisis and restore funding to our library system for the sake of all city residents.”

“Queens' public libraries are vital community centers that enrich the lives of people of all ages by offering a wide variety of programs, classes and resources. The proposed budget cuts to the library system threaten the delivery of these essential services,” said Assemblymember Ed Braunstein. “In my district, local families have been eagerly awaiting the new and improved Bay Terrace Library's reopening, which now faces delays due to these budget cuts. Northeast Queens families, students and seniors depend on the indispensable resources their local library branch provides. I join Assemblymember Rozic and my colleagues in calling on Mayor Adams to restore these harmful budget cuts and support our libraries.”

Martha Taylor, Chair of Queens Community Board 8, said, “The Queens Public Library plays a crucial role in promoting literacy, education, and community engagement. We cannot afford to jeopardize the future of our libraries by implementing short-sighted budget cuts. It is imperative that we work together to secure the necessary funding to support the continued operation of the Queens Public Library system.”

The proposed city budget cuts could result in staff layoffs, reduced operating hours, and ongoing branch closures, disproportionately impacting underserved communities throughout Queens. 

“We urge Mayor Adams and our colleagues in government to recognize the vital importance of libraries and take immediate action to restore funding to the Queens Public Library,” said Assemblymember Rozic. “Investing in our libraries is an investment in the future of our communities, and we must ensure that all residents have equitable access to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.”

The elected officials are committed to working collaboratively with stakeholders and advocates to advocate for the restoration of funding for the Queens Public Library and to ensure that libraries remain accessible and vibrant centers of learning for generations to come.