On May 7, the Authors Guild wrote a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, as the Chair of the Council’s Committee on Libraries, asking the New York City Council to give public libraries due consideration as part of the city’s annual budgeting process. The city’s public libraries continued to provide digital services to New Yorkers during 2020 and early 2021, but are in dire need of assistance to enable them to re-open and play a part in the city’s re-emergence from the pandemic.
To restore themselves to full functionality, New York’s libraries must have the funds to purchase books and hire staff in sufficient numbers to serve the millions that utilize the city’s public library system. We hope that the libraries will soon not only be able to open, but to continue—and even expand upon—their work with authors in conducting lectures, discussions, and book signings on library premises. Authors and libraries have long had a symbiotic relationship, and the Guild will continue to support increasing governmental support for libraries.