Hurrahs are in order for the New York Public Library today, which was saved from potentially devastating city budget cuts. It was a tough battle, with a supporting campaign that involved publicly hugging the stone lions in front of the Stephen A. Schwartzman building, and vaguely threatening letters from small children ("Dear Mr. Mayor, DO NOT I repete DO NOT CUT the Librarys Buggets OR Else!!").
The new budget restores $36.7 million of the $40 million proposed cut for NYPL (which covers Manhattan, The Bronx and Staten Island). NYPL spokesman Angela Montefinise wrote in a statement:
"When it comes to libraries, the real winners this budget season are New Yorkers. Thanks to a sizable restoration from the City, all of our 90 locations across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island will remain open, which means the people of New York will still have access to the critically important free services we offer that are being used now more than ever--computers and Internet, books, programs, classes, job search resources, and more. This budget also preserves a minimum of five-day service in our system, and allows us to avoid layoffs. We want to thank the people of New York for making their voices heard during a difficult budget season, and letting the City know how important libraries are to all. We also want to thank Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council for keeping libraries open."