Increases Library Materials Aid


Increases Library Materials Aid

April 20, 2024

Memorandum of Support

Re: S8478-A Chu
Increases Library Materials Aid to $11 per pupil with annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index 

The above referenced bill would increase the current per-pupil state aid rate to $6.25 to $11 beginning in the 2025 school year, with subsequent increases based on the Consumer Price Index.

The current per-pupil rate for school library material aid, of up to $6.25, has remained unchanged since 2007 despite the increasing costs of obtaining library materials. According to the most recent data available from the School Library Journal, the average cost of a new hardcover book purchased by a school library is $26.25. The deficiency in state aid has prevented our libraries from adequately providing updated materials for our students. This current rate is also deficient in enabling school libraries to obtain digital materials, which are an indispensable part of the resources school libraries provide to students.

School libraries in and of themselves are a critical component of an effective learning environment, but without updated library materials, school libraries become a virtual education desert. Enabling schools to adequately supply and update their school libraries on an ongoing basis will help ensure that New York’s school children have the resources they need to be successful. Raising the per-pupil rate for state support of school library materials is long overdue.

We applaud the sponsors of this legislation and urge its enactment.