Sad News From New York where Gov. George Pataki wants to cut funding to libraries. Pataki is proposing a 15 percent cut in aid to the state’s 23 library systems. Now libraries are lobbying Albany lawmakers over their importance.
If approved by the state Legislature, the cuts could force libraries to limit programs, reduce hours of operation, curtail book orders, eliminate a popular summer reading program for children and slash jobs.
A Similar Story from South Carolina where Several years ago, state aid to libraries was about $2 per capita, it\'s about $1.17 per capita and falling.
Georgia Says the Libraries were ignored during the state’s times of prosperity, state library funds have not increase in 19 years, and are now being cut. In CaliforniaMeanwhile, Over In The UK, Libraries shut in \'booze over books\' row.
David Goldman writes \"For all those librarians public, corporate, legal and university who still rely on Microsoft products I highly recommend reading this Business Week article. BTW the software which runs kfsource.com(postnuke.com) is free...yes free. So the next time someone tries to sell your library a web page package upgrade for only $1000.00 or more (not including the cost of programming in coldfusion) think about running postnuke on a Linux server. Doing this will surely make your budget administrator as well as your patrons smile.\"
I\'ll also point out that LISNews runs on PHPSlash which is what PostNuke based their code on. As usual, check out OSS4Lib and /usr/lib/info for lots of good library open source stuff. The BusinessWeek article is a nice look at the history of Linux, not exactly library stuff, but it\'s a nice start for those who don\'t know the story.
Gary Price sent over an annoucement from the ALA Washington Office
The Museum and Library Services Act Passed Full House Committee and the bill has 102 Sponsors This is the full-text of a just received ALA e-mail. "On February 13, the full Education and the Workforce Committee voted to favorably report out H.R. 13, The Museum and Library Services Act of 2003. Many members of the full committee were present and the vote was unanimous in favor of the bill. Thanks to library supporters, particularly those in California, that contacted members to sign on to support the bill. This bill will go to the floor with 102 sponsors, a significant number that should aid in its speedy passage. The Senate bill, S. 238 now has 24 sponsors."
Gary Price has put together a sad look at library funding from around the country. California, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, New York, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin are all looking at more cuts.
The collection is over at ResourceShelf.com.
We all know about Florida by now, right?
Here\'s a typical story about a rural library that\'s in financial trouble because of state budget cuts. \"Facing severe budget cuts due to the state budget crisis, the local library could see personnel cuts, fewer books on the shelves, the reduction of newspapers and magazines and the reduction of hours. California Governor Gray Davis took $500,000 from the public library fund, as well as taking other funding from the county. All county departments have been asked to cut their budgets by one third, said Pam Heiman, head librarian for the Big Bear Branch Library.
There is an immediate hiring freeze,\" Heiman said. \"We will probably have to close one more day a week.\" The book budget has already been drastically reduced, Heiman said. The budget now allows for the purchase of eight new adult titles per month compared to 24 prior to the budget cuts. These cuts took effect in September. Children\'s and young adult purchases are limited to standing orders.\" Read More...
The Center for Public Integrity has A Look At The E-Rate. They say it's honeycombed with fraud and financial shenanigans, but the government officials in charge say they don’t have the resources to fix it.
“The program has allowed schools and libraries to do things they would have never been able to do any other way,” says Winston E. Himsworth, president of E-Rate Central, a consulting firm used by the New York State education system to prepare and process E-Rate applications. “Like most people close to the program, I hope there are more prosecutions coming. The program doesn’t need beneficiaries or service providers like that.”
This one comes by way of eSchool News...\"Federal authorities on Dec. 18 charged the owner of Connect2 Internet Networks Inc., a New York-based internet services company, and three employees with allegedly defrauding the eRate of millions of dollars.
The case marks the first time criminal charges have been filed against anyone for abusing the program.\" Read More... [registration required]
The original story is Here.
Bad news from California, North Carolina, Oklahoma and from Virginia where State-funded museums, libraries and historical attractions were among the biggest losers in the sweeping cuts ordered this year by the state governments.
Not to worry, Bush plans to boost education spending. The planned spending boosts, he said, were a reflection of educational priorities in last year\'s No Child Left Behind Act.
Here\'s an Associated Press story that\'s making the rounds on budget troubles we are facing across the country. It\'s way too short, but they do say Librarians say one of the most disturbing consequences of the budget cuts is that they\'re coming at a time when more people need libraries to help them find work. They also add The American Library Association says funding problems stem from a lack of political clout. The group plans to launch a campaign to raise funds and awareness next month.
Here\'s Another with a few more details, and a good quote from Mitch:
``As the economic times get worse, library use has gone up,\'\' said Maurice J. Freedman, president of the American Library Association. ``The injustice of it is, here we are providing more service with the same staff, and we\'re asked to cut our budgets.\'\'
Jen Young noticed This Story over at The Chronicle of Higher Education.
They say Public Library of Science received a $9-million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to help pay for a journal project.
The journals, to be titled Public Library of Science Biology and Public Library of Science Medicine, are expected to start publication during the last half of 2003.