Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Roosevelt Island Assembly Member Micah Kellner's Bill to Increase Funding For NY State Libraries Signed By Governor Cuomo - Kellner Testifying Today At NYC Council On Sale Of Library Properties

Received the following report yesterday from Roosevelt Island and Upper East Side Assembly Member Micah Kellner:
Legislation streamlining New York’s research libraries’ preservation and conservation efforts authored by Assembly Member Micah Kellner (D/WFP-Manhattan & Roosevelt Island) was signed into law on Friday by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The law (A4664) increases the statutory amount of annual funding for each of New York State’s “Big Eleven” research libraries from $126,000 to $158,000. The new law also eliminates the burdensome, labor-intensive requirements of the competitive grant process for preservation and conservation programs, a change sought by the research libraries and the NYS Education Department for several years.

“I am proud to have written a law that will help New York State’s outstanding research libraries streamline their efforts to preserve and conserve important materials,” said Assembly Member Kellner. “In this difficult economic and budgetary climate, these vital educational and cultural institutions need to operate as efficiently as possible, and this new law will help them do just that,” he said.

The “same-as” companion measure to Assembly Member Kellner’s bill in the New York State Senate, S02856-B, was introduced by Senator Hugh Farley (R/C/I-Schenectady).


New York State's administrative requirements for competitive grant programs become increasingly stringent in recent years, with multiple and costly layers of review and approvals. These costly layers of review drain limited staffing resources and result in long delays in grant approvals by control agencies. The administrative burden consequently outweighs the benefits of these relatively small, targeted competitive grant programs. SED and the research libraries believe increasing the statutory formulas for the Big Eleven research libraries is a better use of State funding than the conservation/preservation grant program.

New York State’s “Big Eleven” research libraries are:
  • Columbia University Libraries
  • Cornell University Libraries
  • New York State Library
  • New York University Libraries
  • University of Rochester Libraries
  • Syracuse University Libraries
  • The Research Libraries of the New York Public Library
  • University at Albany Libraries, SUNY
  • Binghamton University Libraries, SUNY
  • University at Buffalo Libraries, SUNY
  • Stony Brook University Libraries, SUNY
Assembly Member Kellner chairs the New York State Assembly Committee on Libraries and Education Technology. He will be offering testimony at the New York City Council hearing on “Capital Construction Needs and the Potential Disposal of Libraries in New York City” that is being convened at 1:00 p.m. today at the Council hearing room on the 16th floor of 250 Broadway in lower Manhattan.
Here's Mr. Kellner advocating for increased Library funding and objecting to the selling of library properties during rally at City Hall organized by Citizens Defending Libraries

 last April.