Library Material Aid
As your constituent and someone who cares deeply about public education, I strongly urge you to increase the library material aid to libraries located within public schools in the enacted budget.
Library media specialists around the state have noted that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to serve our populations with the print materials that public school students so desperately need. Quality collections should be continuously analyzed, with books being added, removed or supplemented to meet the needs of the students who utilize them. Unfortunately, due to a lack of sufficient funding to add and replace library materials, many school library collections are not being updated as they should. As a result, school library collections contain outdated or inaccurate information.
When schools switched to remote learning in March of 2020, many library materials went home with students "for two weeks." Across the state, many of these materials never made it back into our school libraries and are considered "unrecoverable." The current reimbursement rate of $6.25 per student, set in 2007, is making it nearly impossible for school librarians to both replace items from their collections that left due to COVID-19 and provide new, updated resources and materials that will benefit students.
I urge the Legislature to include in the enacted budget, the New York State Board of Regents' proposal seeking an increase in library materials aid from $6.25 to $10.55 per pupil. This funding will help to replenish, grow and broaden the resources available in our school libraries.
Accordingly, I urge you to work with your conference and your leadership to increase the Library Materials Aid to $10.55 per pupil this year, in the enacted budget.
Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. I look forward to a reply to my e-mail.