Dr. Colleen D. Sadowski, Chair of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries, announced today that a video recording of the December 13 Assembly Standing Committee on Libraries and Education Technology Public Hearing on library funding is now available at http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/future/index. Also available on the Creating the Future: A 2020 Vision webpage are copies of written testimony submitted to the Assembly Committee by New York library leaders from across the State.
On Tuesday, December 13, 2016, the Assembly Standing Committee on Libraries and Education Technology held a five-hour public hearing in Albany. The primary intent of the hearing was for Committee members to learn more about the impact of the 2016/17 State Budget on the mission of New York State’s libraries and library systems in the 21st century.
Chair of the Assembly Committee Thomas Abinanti and Assembly Committee member Steven Otis heard prepared statements from 21 witnesses, including Dr. Sadowski, Beth Berlin, Executive Deputy Commissioner of Education, Bernard A. Margolis, State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries and Mike Neppl, Director of Government Relations and Advocacy for the New York Library Association. Witnesses described how libraries and library systems across the State are using innovation, collaboration and technology to better leverage their resources in order to expand and sustain library services for all New Yorkers. Witnesses also provided the Assembly Committee members with ideas as to how the State of New York could further assist local communities, libraries, library systems and the New York State Library in improving library services for all New Yorkers.
Witnesses testifying at the December 13 public hearing included:
- Mike Neppl, Director of Government Relations and Advocacy, New York Library Association
- Michele Bonan, Vice President of Government and Community Relations, Brooklyn Public Library
- Norah Yahya, Associate Director of Government and Community Affairs, The New York Public Library
- Nick Buron, Chief Librarian, and Jonathan Chung, Director of Government Affairs, Queens Library
- Sott Jarzombek, Director, Albany Public Library
- Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, Coordinator for Library Sustainability, Mid-Hudson Library System
- Terry Kirchner, Director, and Rob Caluori, Director of IT, Westchester Library System
- Robert Hubsher, Executive Director, Ramapo Catskill Library System
- Beth Berlin, Executive Deputy Commissioner, and Bernard Margolis, Assistant Commissioner for Libraries and State Librarian, State Education Department
- Nate Hill, Director, Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) and Kathleen Gundrum, Executive Director, Capital District Library Council; representing the Empire State Library Network
- Dr. Colleen Sadowski, Director of School Library Systems and Media Services, Rochester City School District; representing the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries
- J’aimé Pfeiffer, School Library System Director, Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES; representing the School Library Systems Association, Inc.
- Darbo O’Brien, Director, Utica Public Library
- Wanda Bruchis, Director, Mid York Library System
- Brian Hildreth, Executive Director, Southern Tier Library System
- Lauren Moore, Executive Director, Pioneer Library System
- Timothy Burke, Executive Director, Upper Hudson Library System; representing the New York Alliance of Library Systems
Additional testimony was submitted by Ronald Kirsop, Assistant Director, Pioneer Library System; and Eli Guinnee, Executive Director, Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System.