"Mutual aid is about recognizing that we all need each other—and in this network, we choose each other. We believe that when we pool our resources, our whole community can thrive."
MAMAS Money Network "Principles for Giving"
The Library Association of the City University of New York announces the creation of the LACUNY Mutual Aid Network. This network offers a way for CUNY library colleagues to both request and provide assistance for one another during the crisis of COVID-19 and its associated damages to CUNY by way of cuts to our budgets and job losses in our libraries. In light of the precariousness of the current moment, LACUNY has decided to reallocate this year’s budget to provide direct support for those impacted by this crisis. Funds that would normally be used for academic awards and in-person events will become grants for individual CUNY library workers who are experiencing hardship.
Mutual aid projects are based in solidarity and are not charity, as recently described by activists Dean Spade and Mariame Kaba. LACUNY’s Mutual Aid Network does not use means testing or any form of qualification to prove economic or other hardships. CUNY library workers beyond LACUNY members are welcome to apply for funds.
Currently, LACUNY can provide a one-time grant of up to $200 to each person who is granted funding. LACUNY will do our best to fundraise and fulfill all requests. To become a recipient of funds, you can fill out LACUNY Mutual Aid Request Form.
Funds will be distributed as long as they remain, but please complete the form as soon as possible for initial consideration.
We realize these small grants can not replace a job, hours, or benefits that have been lost. We are devastated for those in our libraries who are going through these losses, and call on our community to show support.
To contribute funds or provide support: if you would like to help those whose livelihood has been impacted by this crisis, please fill out this donation form. You can also indicate here if you would be willing to provide other support for those in crisis at this moment (in terms of personal and professional assistance).
We ask for your contributions to the LACUNY Mutual Aid Fund in support of the CUNY library community. We all know how critically important the work of the most precarious members of our team can be to the functioning of our libraries, and we ask that you join us in this small act of support for CUNY library workers.
This project has been developed by the following LACUNY members, and we welcome feedback and other communications: