NEW YORK — The steps of City Hall hosted an unusual protest late last month when City Council Speaker Corey Johnson read to a crowd of toddlers wearing orange T-shirts. The book they heard, "Too Many Carrots," tells the story of a rabbit whose abundance of the vegetables threatens to push him out of his burrow.

New York City's public library systems face the opposite problem: The upcoming municipal budget could leave them with a lack of cash that may result in cuts to programs like the story time Johnson held.

Mayor Bill de Blasio's executive budget for the 2020 fiscal year includes about $387.1 million for the New York Public Library, the Queens Public Library, the Brooklyn Public Library and city research libraries. That's about $11.7 million less than the library funding that ended up in the current year's budget, records show.

The reduction would deliver a blow to libraries following an expansion of their services and physical footprints in recent years, forcing them to cut hours and programs that patrons depend on, library officials say.

"Our communities have come to rely on what we're doing today. We'd like to continue at that level," Linda E. Johnson, the Brooklyn Public Library's president and CEO, said at a rally last month.