It’s a difficult time for library advocacy

Physical library buildings are closed, local budgets are heavily impacted by a lack of revenue, and while the NYC Library budget is largely flat, the future is uncertain. As the Covid-19 pandemic drags on, continued revenue shortages may make libraries a tempting target for budget cuts which could impact staffing and hours It is still important that we talk about what libraries and library staff have to offer our community. 

What ULU is doing

Urban Librarians Unite is working to highlight the role of libraries in our current crisis. While there is no immediate threat, it is important for us all to build a base of public awareness about the work of libraries in NYC that we can use as a jumping off point when we need it.  We have brought back the Save NYC Libraries website to share advocacy actions at our partner organizations like the NYC Library Systems and NYLA, and we want to add you and your work to that site.

How you can help

Usually, our patrons can see our work, they see us at the desk, in storytime, processing books, and helping patrons on the computers. Right now our work is out there, but we are largely invisible. ULU wants to fix that, and you can help. 

image of a librarians legs and laptop on the floor with books and papers next to it
Rosemary – I’m a children’s librarian at Queens Library. Right now, I’m creating screencasts of how to access and navigate our library databases, and working on virtual story times. I’m also going to be performing virtual reference.

Be like Rosemary, and take a selfie at your home office desk/corner/conference call closet/couch! Show us your virtual story time setup, let us see you at work on virtual chat, or in your staff meetings or virtual programs. Let us see you with the plants you rescued from your branch. Help us amplify the story of what you are doing right now to serve our communities.  

Join our Planning Call

Join us on our planning call on Wednesday May 27th at 1:00pm for a discussion of how we can effectively advocate for library funding in the current situation and what you can do to help. Please register to save your spot and get the sign in information!

We hope to see you on our Planning Call, and thank you for everything you are doing.