NYC library cuts remain in place in Mayor Adams' budget proposal

New York City Mayor Eric Adams unveiled his budget proposal for the 2025 fiscal year, including restorations in funding for the NYPD and New York City schools.

However, cuts to the city's public library system remain in place.

In addition to the $22M cut last year, this year's budget slashes another $36M from the New York Public Library.

Budget cuts have already forced some branches to close on Sundays and have shorter hours to save money. 

Mayor Adams defended his spending plan Wednesday, calling on public libraries to tap into their own private endowment funds.

"We have stated over and over again, we did not tell libraries to close on Sundays," Adams said. "They did an analysis of what services they wanted to deliver to New Yorkers and they had the option of finding where they wanted to find those savings."

Critics say the Mayor's budget ax comes just as public library use is increasing, and could be a major setback.

In a joint statement, the Presidents of the Brooklyn, Queens and the New York Public Library said: "We are deeply disappointed that the FY25 executive budget failed to reverse devastating cuts proposed for public libraries in January." 

The New York City Council Majority Whip Selvena Brooks-Powers, who represents Queens, told FOX 5 NY that she believes there is extra money in the budget the Mayor has not accounted for that could help fund the public libraries, including projected future tax revenue.

"I think that it's really unacceptable to not restore the much-needed funding. Public libraries are more than just books, it's really a space where New Yorkers to get a number of services and resources," Brooks-Powers said.