State Librarian, Bernard M. Margolis, and Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education, Jeffrey W. Cannell, were the first to testify at a public hearing conducted by the New York State Assembly Committee on Libraries and Educational Technology. Library leaders from across the state gathered to discuss the impact of current state funding on libraries in New York State. This hearing served as a continuation of the conversation from last year’s Assembly Hearing on library funding.
Cannell began with a discussion of how New Yorkers rely on libraries and library systems as sources of early literacy, job training, and technology resources, citing specific examples of innovative services provided by libraries throughout the state including those offered by the Fayetteville Free Library and the Port Washington Public Library. Margolis continued, reflecting on the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy and how libraries continue to assist New Yorkers in the aftermath. Margolis also discussed how libraries and library systems are good investments and tools for efficiency in government.
Other organizations that testified included: the New York Library Association, Ramapo Catskill Library System and member libraries, Westchester Library System, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library System and Western New York Library Resources Council, Queens Library, Capital District Library Council, New York Alliance of Library Systems, Library Trustees Association of New York State, Southern Adirondack Library System and member libraries, Capital Region BOCES, and Saratoga Springs Public Library.
Testimonies from Cannell and Margolis are now available at: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/testimony12/. Additional testimonies and video recordings from the hearing will be posted as they are made available.