“New York state library advocates from Niagara Falls to Montauk Point are not happy with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 4.7 percent cut to library aid for the 2014-15 fiscal year. This proposal is particularly troublesome, highlighted by the fact that he is also proposing significant new tax cuts for wealthy New Yorkers and at the same time, boasting about New York state operating at a surplus.No explanation was provided by the governor’s office for this undeserved reduction in library aid.” (via Democrat and Chronicle)
“A Southeast Steuben County Library trustee recently stepped down from the position after criticizing the library for promoting objectionable material in a letter posted on the official website of the Town of Caton, where she serves as assessor. In the letter, Ann Balch said her Christian beliefs do not allow her to support:
• The viewing of pornography on library computers.
• The promotion of homosexuality, especially in the children’s department.
• The promotion of witchcraft in the young adult’s section.
• The promotion of the Muslim religion without also promoting Christianity as an alternative.
via The Corning Leader)
“Back in the 1990s, the Supreme Court said that while prisoners have the right to pursue a legal claim, they don’t have “an abstract, freestanding right to a law library.”For years after the ruling, even though it no longer had to, New York required its county jails to maintain a supply of legal reference materials, such as various chapters of New York State Consolidated Laws and case law digests.But as times of plenty have faded, New York has decided that the law library is an unaffordable luxury. After finding that the mandate imposed a “significant cost upon each county,” New York’s prison commission is proposing to relax the regulation and allow prisons to shutter their libraries. (via WSJ)
“Rochester’s InfoPreserve Inc. has reached an agreement with the New York State Unified Court System and the Buffalo Law Library to provide a private cloud solution for a New York Codes, Rules and Regulations digital archive. The deal will make the NYCRR’s archives, which includes all of the state’s regulatory history from 1945 to 2001, available online to the public for the first time. InfoPreserve, which provides clouds solutions for document management, will scan documents, creating a free, web-based system that is fully searchable.” (via Rochester Business Journal)
“The New York Court of Appeals on Feb. 1 will launch a free, public online database of case documents that will make it easier for lawyers to file court papers, the court said. In a memo sent to members of the bar on Thursday, Andrew Klein, the court’s chief clerk and legal counsel, said the Public Access and Search System database, or Court-PASS, will serve as a permanent archive of all cases filed after Jan. 1. “Anyone may search or browse the Court-PASS database free of charge, and may view or download documents from every stage of the case at the Court of Appeals,” Klein wrote.”
“The state Senate quietly distributed about $15 million in aid to schools and libraries on the last day of the 2012 legislative session, boosting local technology programs and filling budget gaps in growing districts.
Individual school districts and educational programs across the state received grants ranging from a few thousand dollars to $500,000, according to a resolution passed by the Senate on June 21.”
A.G. Schneiderman Launches “NY Open Government” Online Tool To Promote Transparency & Accountability
Press Release – “Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman took another major step in his drive to bolster transparency in state government by launching “New York Open Government,” a major expansion of the office’s Project Sunlight website. The new site is designed to help voters, the media and government watchdogs hold state government accountable by providing the public with comprehensive, up-to-date, and user-friendly information on campaign contributions, lobbying, and state contracts.”
AP – “A new law will allow the New York state Museum and State Library in Albany to expand weekend hours of operation to boost tourism and help researchers.”
WAMC – “Libraries across New York are being squeezed by increased demand for their services and concerns about funding. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports. Local public library systems are feeling the pinch from the slow economy. Shrinking budgets have resulted in hard decisions about trimming back hours and cutting programs. Utica Public Library Director Darby O’Brien says libraries exist to serve their local communities – which often includes people who have relocated to America from other countries.”
LoHud – “Libraries in the Lower Hudson Valley are being squeezed by increased demand for the no-charge information and cultural services they offer at the same time their expenses are rising and their funding is in serious jeopardy. The 63 public libraries in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties spent a combined $103 million in public money to run their operations in 2009, a 6 percent increase from 2007. And while spending is up, it has not kept pace with demand. The number of people using Lower Hudson Valley libraries rose 9 percent from 2007 to 2009.”