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     Governor Mario M. Cuomo has proposed a $2.89 million increase
  in library aid for 1994-95 as part of his New York State Executive Budget
  released on January 18. Under the Governor's plan, the total
  State aid for libraries would be $75.3 million in 1994-95.

     State Librarian Joseph F. Shubert said the budget plan is
  especially gratifying because it recognizes the ways in which
  libraries are part of the Governor's commitment to information
  access in his policies on education, civic responsibilities and

     "Libraries are the source to which millions of New Yorkers
  turn when they need information on jobs, work skills, health,
  buying economically, strengthening home security, government,
  and a thousand other information needs," Shubert said. Library
  use goes up each year, and people see that libraries need to be
  in the forefront of electronic information services, Shubert

     The proposed $75.3 million represents 85.5 percent of full
  funding of aid authorized in permanent education law. Shubert
  said detailed information on projected aid to systems and
  programs will shortly be available in the _Fact Book on Library
  Aid_, noting that payments to individual systems vary from year
  to year because of the impact of formulas and language in the
  appropriation act.

     Shubert said that the Regents have set library aid of $88.3
  million as a legislative priority this year. He pointed that
  children and adults now borrow more than 120 million books and
  other materials from public libraries in New York State and
  accomplishment of Regents goals for learning and the State's
  economic development goals make greater demands upon libraries.

     In addition to the $75.3 million in formula aid, the
  Governor's proposed local assistance budget includes $2 million
  for The New York Public Library Research Libraries to continue
  services to the City University of New York and $346,300 for
  SUNY Conservation/Preservation programs.


     Shubert said that the Governor's operations budget for the
  State Education Department's Office of Cultural Education, of
  which the State Library is a part, includes funds to acquire an
  integrated library system to replace the Library's 20-year-old
  online catalog and several obsolete offline subsystems.

     This is great news because an efficient computer system is
  basic to library services and to continued development of
  networked services, Shubert said. He added that an integrated
  online system will be available for remote login 24 hours a day,
  and the new system will be quicker and easier for the public and
  staff to use.

     The proposed budget, however, provides reduced acquisitions
  funds for the State Library. In July 1993, the Legislature
  authorized an additional $500,000 for library acquisitions for
  1993-94 and the Regents requested $3 million for acquisitions in
  1994-95. The Governor's plan would provide $2 million.


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