A Siena College Research Institute poll conducted in January found that public library usage is up 10% statewide over the last three years, with usage up nearly 20% among those households making less than $50,000 annually. 94% of respondents said that public libraries are “very” or “somewhat” important to our state’s educational infrastructure, while more than 80% of women, African-Americans, Latinos, and households making less than $50,000 say public libraries are “very important” to our educational system.

Meanwhile, in a press release announcing the results of the poll, Jeremy Johannesen, Executive Director of the New York Library Association, pointed out that library funding is nearly 20% less than what is mandated in state Education Law, and is currently at 1997 levels. He called on Governor Cuomo and library supporters in the State Senate and the Assembly to recognize that public libraries are at the core of the state’s educational infrastructure and must be equitably funded.