Money Issues

Minneapolis might lose new library

Greg writes "My my, those library budgets are sure easy things to cut..."

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the showplace central library that Minneapolis is planning to build is now threatened by cost-conscious city officials. This is a tough challenge for brand-new library director Kit Hadley. Part of the problem is that, though voters approved the new construction, the city council has yet to vote to issue the necessary bonds. The MPL system faces, "A $25 million shortfall in its operating budget over the next 10 years...roughly equal to the entire cost of running the system this year."

The MPL website has a good information page about the project, including a picture of the half-demolished shell of the previous Central library.

Library scofflaws on loose in Morris New Jersey

Ryan passed over This One From New Jersey on those of us who will call police to report those who fail to return books, videos and other library materials.
They say some libraries decide that the battle to recover their losses is just not worth it. The Jefferson Township Library, which sends out 80 to 90 overdue notices per week, does not pursue complaints.
Same Kinda Story from Colorado.

\"Libraries make every effort not to beat up on patrons, When somebody goes to buy a car or a house,\" Seebohm said, they come in here screaming, \'Why are you doing this?\'\"

Oxford College sells Shakespeare First Folio to pay bills

Charles Davis passed along This One
that says One of English literature\'s most valuable works - a First Folio of William Shakespeare\'s plays - has been sold by Oxford University\'s Oriel College for an estimated £3.5 million to pay for building repairs and textbooks.
The book, which was printed in 1623 and has been
kept in the college\'s library for more than two
centuries, was bought by Sir Paul Getty, the
philanthropist, in a private deal concluded in New
York.

Embattled libraries must put patrons first

An Article From Hawaii with a near impossible budget squeeze, the state public library system has gone into triage mode. As on a battlefield or in an emergency room, the system is struggling to save what can be saved with limited resources while the rest will be left to die.
They say it\'s imperative that as schedules are scaled back, the needs and desires of each library\'s customer base be considered first. This is a classic customer service aspect of government, and must be run with that customer in mind.

Libraries battle proposed funding cuts

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.

The Linux Uprising

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.

Museum and Library Services Act Passes Full House Committee

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."

Direct Url To This ResourceShelf Post

Time for a Library Funding Cuts Update

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?

California Governor Cuts Library Funding

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...

Phone fund for schools, libraries riddled with fraud

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.”

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