For as long as I can recall, it seems when budget cuts are going to be made, PBS is always named as a candidate for defunding.
Posts Tagged ‘budget cuts’
Anyone who is familiar with the library world knows that libraries have recently faced a number of budgetary challenges. In the United States, this has manifested in shorter hours and reduced staff. You are also probably aware that in the United Kingdom, libraries have been systematically closed. An article by Amelia Dimoldenberg specifies that in the last six years, the United Kingdom has closed 350 libraries, and another 111 are slated for closure next year.
Since 2010, spending cuts have drastically affected public libraries in the United Kingdom, particularly in England. A BBC investigation discovered a startling trend: In the past six years, almost eight thousand paid staff have lost their jobs, which amounts to 25 percent of the total working force. In that same time period, over 340 libraries have closed, with at least another hundred slotted to close in the next year. Additionally, over 170 libraries have been “transferred to community groups,” which means that they are solely run by volunteers. The use of volunteers is the only number that has increased (by fifteen thousand) since 2010. Is this trend signifying the end of UK public libraries?
It unfortunately is an old story that we have all heard before. Public libraries in Connecticut are faced with budget cuts. The question for them now becomes, “What do we do?” The goal is to provide the same level of service to your patrons in the community, but how do you do that without the same amount of resources? Libraries need to look at the bigger picture when this happens. The answer can’t just be, “We will lay someone off until we get more money.” It really won’t fix the situation, and may actually provide library directors with the idea that the library can survive with less staff, which may lead to eliminating the position altogether.
One tried-and-true method to reach benefactors is through library foundations, which can be significant fundraising and marketing tools. In 2013, the Wilmington Trust published a report about public library foundations. The report revealed that 79% of U.S. public libraries use foundations, reaping an average annual fundraising net of $2 million and garnering assets of over $12 million.
Are you looking for an opportunity to advocate for public libraries? Do you feel strongly about national library funding? Take advantage of National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) on May 4th and 5th. Join your voice with other library advocates.
In many respects, going digital just makes more sense, such as the choice between physical reference books and online databases. However choosing the digital option for books, while increasingly a part of our lives, does not necessarily have such a clear answer.
This past summer we were in the midst of the how-are-we-going-to-fund our library discussion. It’s an age-old library question: how do we maintain our services, or (dare I suggest) how can we increase our services with a flat or reduced budget? The fear was real: do we reduce services at (or close) a branch or do we make drastic cuts at the main location?
Over the past few years, the Miami-Dade Public Library has faced the brutal reality of continually decreased funding in a time when more and more citizens have been utilizing the library.
When I go back to my favorite restaurant growing up, I find it pales in comparison to my memory. What I’m experiencing-currently-is not what I remember. Life is about change. The library is an organic entity with a life of its own. No matter how much we cling to our memories, what we recall in […]