The United States is far from the only country facing library closures and budget cuts. According to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy annual survey of libraries in Great Britain, there was a £50 million cut from library budgets across Britain in 2014–2015, and 106 libraries closed. In The Guardian’s “Student” section, Greta Bellamacina recently made a strong argument for the importance of public libraries, particularly as a vital resource for students.
Posts Tagged ‘barriers to access’
Save Our Libraries has proposed an alternative plan that would likely help the Douglas County (Oregon) Library System generate the revenue it needs to operate at an optimal capacity. This plan involves using citizens’ property taxes to finance the library (rather than relying on the county budget). This proposal would include a “special district tax” of $0.44 per every $1,000.00 of property values. Oregon has a property tax cap of $10 per $1,000 of assessed property value; as a result, “any sum of taxes greater than $10 would compress all the taxes to fit under the cap,” an issue that seems to warrant additional research.
Times have changed. E-books, something many of us never thought were possible, are now commonplace, and many checkouts from the library never even involve a visit to the stacks. Not everyone has access to them though, especially families who are poor and cannot afford to pay for content, even if they have a smartphone or computer. Checking out e-books from libraries is one option, but at the end of February, the White House released a new app: Open eBooks.
Outernet, a satellite-based information source, is bringing knowledge to the furthest reaches of the globe, 24/7.
We are all aware of the vital role libraries play in bridging the digital divide. For people who do not otherwise have access to computers or the Internet, libraries are a place where they can search and apply for jobs, stay connected with friends, and access government services. Email’s central role in all of these activities means that libraries frequently assist new online users in setting up email accounts.