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Erica Hickey QuikSubmitted Could fees be the answer to library crisis? from The Pittspurgh Post-Gazette on the libraries in PA.
The budgets are being cut by an amazing 50 percent this year, they say a stagnant economy coupled with a powerful White House so determined to cut taxes so deeply that airport security budgets have been reduced produces a gloomy picture for libraries.
"In return, we average folks will have more money to spend -- a whopping 1 percent, if we're lucky, after the latest federal tax cut -- so we have it to support our favorite endangered institution, the library, while we wait for the economy to take off again.
In a way, paying for libraries returns them to the days of Carnegie's youth, when they were the private domain of the rich. We can only hope that there are modern Col. James Andersons around to let us use them."
I had to look at the first paragraph of this story twice to believe it ...
\"PA Governor wants to use bailout to lessen cuts. Governor would use much of $900 million from Washington to soften reductions in programs for needy for the next 2 years. Looks like some good news for librarians, recovering drug addicts, bus riders and others who may be poor or needy: The state budget cuts won\'t be as harsh as previously announced.\" Get the full effect here.
A Cincinnati media anchor questions why "Hamilton County Public Library (OH), amid stiff budget cuts, is cutting hours, raising fees, and holding back pay raises for some workers," but purchased 621 office chairs @ $555 each for staff. "Right now, the system is facing a $4 million deficit. Tonight, Target 5 wants to know why the library system bought hundreds of expensive designer chairs for their employees." Read More.
Los Angeles County may close 15 of its 84 libraries and reduce hours at other branches if a proposed $7.3 million cut is approved. The remaining libraries would cut back on hours. Nineteen of the libraries would be closed an additional two days per week under the proposal.
SomeOne writes "This NewsDay Story is on Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who pleaded for donations to help buy books for city libraries on Thursday, the latest cry for private funds to help a public agency stunned by cuts under a staggering budget deficit. "
Robin from over at InMyBook spotted This Little Blurb that says with its book-purchasing fund cut drastically, the Oakland Public Library is asking the public to help it through its budget crunch by donating a book.
System-wide wish lists are available on Amazon.com., and at several local bookstores. They include Cody's Books, Marcus Books and Walden Pond Bookstore. Many individual branches have their own wish list, and Diesel Bookstore and Laurel Bookstore have wish lists for their nearby branches.
The University of Illinois budget has become the latest gob of spackling to be slathered across the state of Illinois' gaping $5 billion budget hole. Libraries at all three campuses, which have already seen one round of cuts, will have to trim even more from their FY 2004 budget, and possibly see a recision in funds from the FY 2003 budget. The library's math library was recently closed and the current cuts, if as deep as expected, will mean the closing of school's art and architecture library. More from this LJ blurb.
The libraries at the school's Urbana-Champaign campus hold over 9 million volumes, making it one of the top ten largest libraries in the nation, and the largest publicly-supported university research library in the world.
Sad Story From MA where funding cuts may force one of the nation's oldest public libraries to close its doors more than 200 years after it opened with books donated by Benjamin Franklin.
"It's nothing that we're happy with, but we're realists and we can see what the economic times are doing to us," Kenneth Wiedemann, who chairs the town's library board, said Monday."
"Publishers of academic science, technology and medical journals are getting kudos from Wall Street for their healthy profits. The industry's $7.5 billion Anglo-Dutch giant, Reed Elsevier, publishes 1,300 journals and had 2002 profit of $271.5 million, up from $181.4 million a year ago."
"But the librarians who buy their journals are giving publishers their ire. Librarians only see rising prices and future cuts in what they can order. The average cost of a journal in science, technology or medicine jumped 215 percent from 1986 to 2001, says the Association of Research Libraries, more than three times the increase in the consumer price index."
"It's like beating widows and orphans for money," said Carol Mandel, dean of New York University's libraries." (from Newsday)
There was a feature on NPR's "All Things Considered," Thursday evening, that discussed the current state of library funding across the nation. As municipalities grapple with sinking budgets, libraries seem to be at the top of the chop list.
"Public libraries are becoming vulnerable targets as cities and states seek ways to cut their budgets. NPR's Margot Adler reports that some libraries are already feeling that pressure - even as they're serving more job-seekers."
The Audio Link is Here.