Over 1,000 library advocates converged on Albany for Library Advocacy Day including more than 50 advocates from the MHLS region!
Assemblymember Didi Barrett (left),
Chair of the NYS Assembly Standing Committee on Libraries & Education Technology with
Thea Schoep, Director of the Claverack Library & Chair of the MHLS Directors Association
and a young library advocate.
With thirteen appointments in four hours intrepid teams from each legislative district made up of library advocates from communities throughout the Hudson Valley made quick work of the crowded halls and elevators of the Legislative Office Building.
Advocates stressed the need for legislators to step up in the face of Governor Cuomo's proposed roll back of library aid and State Aid for Library Construction. While they were at it they explained what the repeal of Net Neutrality on the federal level could mean to their constituents; advocated for a reduced match opportunity for state construction funds; made the case for why there should be a school librarian in every elementary school; and helped legislators understand that New York's tax payers deserve unfettered access to taxpayer funded research.
(l-r): Jennifer Palmentiero, Digital Services Librarian for the Southeastern NY Library Resources Council; Rita Covelli, Assistant Director of the Mahopac Public Library; Brian Avery, Director of the Pawling Library; Assemblymember Byrne; Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, MHLS Coordinator for Library Sustainability; and Michele Capozzella, Director of the Mahopac Public Library
At the stroke of noon the "rally" began in The Well of the Legislative Office Building. What do 1,000 library advocates sound like when they are fighting for library aid? LOUD! The event was kicked off with a policy driven speech by Assemblymember Didi Barrett, Chair of the Assembly Standing Committee on Libraries & Education Technology and was followed with impassioned speeches conveying support for libraries from legislators from around the state, including MHLS region Senator Sue Serino.
The rally was packed! Standing room only all the way up the grand staircase!
Library Advocates of all ages from all walks of life pitched in today. Heartfelt stories of how these are real dollars impacting real people were the centerpiece of the day. Stories are what brings these issues to life for legislators and we thank everyone who took the time to tell their story on Advocacy Day!
Members of the Kingston Library's Teen Advisory Group,
Bob the Apple,
their library's Battle of the Books mascot
MHLS would like to thank the following sponsors of the buses to Albany, their generosity helped to keep ticket costs at a very reasonable $5 this year!
- Friends of the Howland Public Library
- Friends of the Brewster Public Library
- Friends of the Cairo Public Library
- Friends of the Chatham Public Library
- Friends of Blodgett Memorial Library
- Friends of the Desmond-Fish Library
- Friends of the Greenville Public Library
- Foundation for Hudson Valley Libraries
- Friends of the Hyde Park Free Library
- Friends of the Hudson Area Library
- Friends of the Kent Library*
- Friends of the Kinderhook Memorial Library
- Friends of the Mahopac Library
- Friends of the Patterson Library
- Friends of the Philmont Public Library
- Friends of the Phoenicia Library
- Friends of the Pine Plains Free Library
- Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District
- Friends of the Rosendale Library
- Friends of the Saugerties Public Library
- Friends of Starr Library
- Friends of the Mountain Top Library
- Friends of the Grinnell Public Library District
The Friends of the Kent Library
sent a note along with their donation this year to let us know their donation was more than usual in honor of
. Jean, a member of their group for many years (as well as a former MHLS trustee), was an ardent and outspoken library advocate. Jean passed away last year and the Friends wanted to commemorate her legacy as a library advocate.
Advocacy Day was a success thanks to the hard work of people like
Kerstin Cruger, MHLS Library Sustainability Associate & Communications Specialist
. Kerstin was not only a bus captain the day of the event but worked tirelessly to create the schedule of appointments for the day which is harder than it sounds! Thirteen appointments in four hours with overlapping Senate and Assembly districts (some of which we share with other Systems in the state)! No small task!