Morning Meanderings… Library Budget Cuts

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Good morning.  In light of world happenings yesterday I need a distraction from the incredible pain that has been let loose into Connecticut.  I can not even imagine…. and my heart cried for each and every one of those who have been hurt by this unthinkable tragedy.

That said…

This last week I went to a public hearing in support of our local Library.  Two weeks ago, while the city was planning the 2013 budget, our local Senior Center spoke up that they needed more funding and the city pulled $20,000 from the Library budget to give to the Senior Center.

This is a tough decision – both are very worthy non profits.  I knew for our local library this was a huge blow that would possibly include reduction of staff hours and services like the Book Mobile that delivers books to the surrounding area.

I went in support of the library while they hashed through this decision to finalize the City Budget.  I have never sat through one of these meetings before and it was both amazing, and harsh as they battled it out – and in the end…

the library lost the funding. 

There were moments I actually teared up to think of how hard our Library works to provide great services and now how much harder they will have to work on their own budget to make ends meet.  This makes me think, as book lovers what can we do to help support our libraries?

I am going to post more on this topic later when I have more time to process….  as for now, I will share a few pictures for Saturday Snapshot.  These pictures are from the 22nd floor of a hotel (gah – can not recall the name….) in Minneapolis when I was with my Library Team for the Literacy Institution I am assisting in.  The floor is called “windows and it is all huge windows all the way around this huge meeting space.  I imagine in the summer it is beautiful – but even here you can get a little sample:

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Kind of a rambling post …. but yeah.  There it is. 

Today I am off to a morning brunch Christmas party and then coming home as it is a rainy wet day here in Central Minnesota and I do not want to be in it.

About Sheila (Book Journey)

Bookaholic * Audio Book Fan *Bike Rider *Rollerblader *Adventure Seeker *Want To Be Runner*Coffee lover *Fitness Fan * Movie junkie

Posted on December 15, 2012, in Meanderings, Saturday Snapshots and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. Bummer. But I understand it is a very tough decision for all. Funding for arts and education are getting cut everywhere :( Hope the rest of your weekend lifts your spirits a bit.

  2. An impossible choice…both causes worthy. Sometimes that is what life dishes out.

    Impressive shots!

  3. Darn! Too bad they couldn’t work something else out.There has to be a better solution. We need to be able to maintain (and even increase) access to books and the technology libraries offer for the people who don’t have access to such things at home.

  4. I agree both are worthy causes. I have always been a huge library fan since I was a child. Now, however, I use it to download e-books and wonder how they make any money since there are never any late fees with this application as the books are just deleted from my reader once the lending period expires. Perhaps they should charge a nominal fee to e-reader users? I wouldn’t be adverse to paying.

    • We talked about that in book club this week – about charging for a library card. At this time, we do not, unless you lose it and then it is $2 to replace it. We were saying we would gladly pay $5 – $10 a year for a library card…. look at all the use you get out of it and support your community at the same time.

  5. That definitely is a hard choice. Personally though, I think the library serves all ages and should not have had to lose that much $ out of their budget.

    • Thats the way I think, but of course I am bias :) The Senior Center does so much good as well and I know the Library does things for the Senior Center… it was just a bad scenario all the way around.

  6. I love bridges and rivers…that photo is my favorite!

  7. Our City Council had to cut the City’s budget for years in a row. And each year the library lost funding. Supporters of the library, in order to stop this downward spiral, circulated a petition to create a Library District. It was put on the ballot and voters here chose to tax themselves to support the library! This was maybe four or five years ago. Now our library has a dependable funding source (property taxes) and is in good financial shape. (Recently, they were even able to expand and remodel the main branch.)

    And our senior center even got additional funding this year for a facility expansion.

  8. Very sad!! Maybe you could check into something like what Anne said they did for their library!

  9. Maybe your bookclub can do some fundraising for your local library or depending on what your library does, maybe donate some of your money that you set aside to charitable organizations to library; some library systems have charitable arms of the library that help raise funds for the library.

    • Hi Jayne, I am on the Friends Of The Library Team and I have an idea I am working on that I think will make some money and hopefully become a yearly event. More ont hat later as I start to piece things together ;)

  10. So sorry the library funding didn’t go the way you wanted.

    The photos of the view are amazing. I love the shot of the river.

  11. Libraries (both public and school) are such easy targets. People think volunteers can run them (it’s just checking out books, right?!). Not. I am sad to hear about the money loss of your public library

  12. That is so sad about the loss of library funding! Our library has had cuts in the past decade, and despite that has had record circulation numbers each people. We very much need our library with a large amount of people living in poverty in our community. They can’t afford books, and rely on the programs for so many things – with programs for children of all ages and adults. I’m not sure of the actual number of volunteers currently, but I’d guess we have about 50-75 who come in and volunteer on a regular basis. We shelve books, decorate bulletin boards, help with children’s programs, etc – to free up the time of the three full-time librarians so that they can do the things that we can’t. And they’re talking about cutting the budget again, but are going to put a bond measure on the next ballot to raise taxes in support of the police force and library. I really hope it passes.

    I hope that your community is able to put money back into the library’s budget, even if it doesn’t happen right away.

  13. This is a topic near and dear to my heart too. It’s always hard when the budget is cut so drastically. Volunteers and Friends groups are supposed to help with extras (children’s programs, etc.) that town/city budgets don’t cover, but now they’re being forced to help support basic operations and libraries have had to cut out the extras. It’s great that you’re so involved! Every library could use a core group of people that promote libraries the way you do.

  14. Sheila,

    This is a great post and no wonder it’s inspired all these comments. I love libraries and the people who work in them–they saved my psyche as a kid and enrich me today–got my Kate Atkinson at the library! Anyway, I love Anne’s idea, and encourage you to organize and present the Library District idea. Make sure you lobby the County or City Council members way in advance, and when it’s presented, have at least 300 people show up to speak in favor of it. Another thing you can do is for several months, create a petition and bring it any place people gather regularly, like a farmer’s market, or outside the Library. There’s something really, really impressive about having stacks and stacks of paper with people agreeing with your proposal. In Whatcom County, we were able to get the County Council to pass a 1/10th of 1% sales tax increase for innovative best practice behavioral health programs using just these kinds of methods. We are funding great programs and take in $3 – 4 million a year. Citizenship works!

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