New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced on Sunday, January 14th, that the city’s three main library systems are exempt from financial cuts in the upcoming preliminary 2025 fiscal year budget.
Adams announced that nearly every city agency was asked to make a 5% reduction in the preliminary budget for the 2025 fiscal year.
The mayor, however, stated that the city’s three library systems would be exempt from these budget cuts.
Mayor Adams stated, “Libraries are a lifeline to countless communities and the great equalizers.”
With this announcement, the libraries will continue their Saturday operations.
Adams said, “The proposal submitted by our three library systems might have resulted in cutting Saturday service and reducing hours on weekdays. Our administration will not do that.”
He added, “We are holding our city’s three library systems harmless in this round to prevent further service reductions and protect those vital institutions.”
In November, libraries were forced to discontinue their seven-day-a-week service due to a $24 million budget cut.
They cautioned that further reductions would lead to certain branches among the city’s 200+ locations operating only five days a week.
Among the affected libraries were the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Public Library, which had to suspend seven-day services citywide.
The budget cut also resulted in the discontinuation of Sunday services at most locations where they were previously available.
In response to public outcry over budget cuts, Mayor Adams took action last week by reversing certain reductions totaling approximately $200 million.
Library leaders posted a joint statement on Sunday night, thanking Adams, saying, “The Brooklyn, New York, and Queens public libraries are grateful that Mayor Adams, a longtime champion of our mission, spared libraries from a January cut to our current operating budgets.”
They continued, “We deeply appreciate the administration’s recognition of the value of libraries and how much New Yorkers rely on them.”
He reinstated public safety, sanitation, parks, education, and youth programs funding.
Mayor Adams’s preliminary budget for the 2025 fiscal year was unveiled on Tuesday, giving more insight into the city’s finances and priorities for the upcoming year.