From Save the BECPL Facebook campaign:
BECPL Fast Facts
* SITUATION: The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library faces a $6.8 million shortfall for 2011 if the budget proposed by County Executive Chris Collins stands. Library hours will be reduced from 332 to 205.
* COST: Buffalo/Erie County library services cost $28.64 per capita while comparably sized cities pay $43 and up per capita.
* VALUE: If you take out just 2 books and 10 movies a month, that is $74 value in a month and close to $900 value in one year.
* INCREASING IMPORTANCE OF LIBRARIES: In tough economic times, especially with high unemployment, people need libraries.
o Circulation of library materials continues to trend at over 6 million items per year.
o People depend so much on the libraries’ Internet connection that many people drive closed libraries, sit in their cars and connect on laptops through the libraries’ wifi.
o Bookstores and high speed Internet are not available in some of the small communities B&ECPL serves so these residents rely on the reading material and high-speed Internet that their local libraries provide.
o Economically challenged households in Buffalo and across Erie County can’t support the purchase of books, CDs or DVDs, let alone have a computer with Internet access.
* LIBRARY USE INCREASE: Computer usage in Buffalo & Erie County Libraries has always been high but it has increased 25% since 2008—the beginning of the economic downturn.
QUALITY OF LIFE: Libraries contribute to the community’s quality of life economically, equal access to information resources; children’s introductions to libraries; the future role of libraries; the impact of physical development on the sense of community; life skills, including accountability and responsibility; and career paths
**There’s also an online petition and blog at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savebecpl/**
Cattaraugus County Administrator Jack Searles released a budget last week that includes 20% cuts across the board for all contract agencies. For your local library, this could be devastating.
$17, 105 in county aid would be lost to the libraries in Cattaraugus County. However, this is not the only cut that would occur. This cut would be more than 5% of the library’s local funding, which would result in a loss of 25% of State Aid. In total, this would mean a loss of approximately $270,000.
In the past two years, State Aid to the library system has already been cut by $250,000. The current amount of County funding has been the same since 2005. One of the consequences of these cuts was the elimination of the bookmobile. As a result of the current proposal several programs could be cut including weekly delivery of books requested from other libraries, the interlibrary loan service that allows patron to access books outside of the CCLS system, and service to the County’s nine nursing homes and senior centers.
Economic times are difficult, but in times like these more and more people are turning to the public library for help. People visit the library each day to fill out job applications, look for potential employment, update their skills, and more. The library lends out books, DVDs, and video games which saves people money. Is this the time to cut funding, when the library’s services are in high demand?
What you can do to help:
- Call or write your legislator and ask him or her to restore library funding. (The names, addresses, and phone numbers of the District 10 Legislators appears at the bottom of this page as well as a link to information on the other Cattaraugus County legislators.)
- Sign the petition available at the library.
- Attend the Legislature’s public hearing on the budget on Tuesday, November 23rd at 3pm in the Legislature’s Chambers (Cattaraugus County Center, 303 Court Street, Little Valley, NY).
- Sign up to speak at the budget hearing on the 23rd.
- Pass this information on to your friends and family. The library could use the support.
The library can’t do this without your help! Thank you for all you have done over the years for the library and all that you continue to do.
**Thanks to Carol Kowalik for sharing this information.**
From the OC Register: In California, as we plod through this not-so-great recession, there are two kinds of education-related cost cuts in play – the sexy kind and the not-so-sexy kind.
Any reduction in spending that might crank up the number of kids in a third-grade classroom, for example, is easy for parents and other tax payers to understand. Same for cuts that wipe out arts classes or PE or, the latest craze, several school days a year.
Teacher Librarian Marie Slim dresses the part of “rock star” during her “Read Like a Rock Star” 2009 book fair at Troy High School to raise funds for new books.
All those cuts, popular or not, attract attention and debate. In short, they’re sexy.
But farther down on the radar is another kind of cost cutting – the one that wipes out the often stereotyped resource known as the school librarian.
We all know the images of the school librarian. She shushes. She shelves. She sits, quietly, behind a desk. Dewey Decimal anyone?
But head into Orange County’s school libraries and you’ll discover what [this OC Register reporter] found: passionate, dedicated, tech-savvy teacher librarians.
Libraries across the country are struggling to remain relevant and productive in an increasingly digital society. Stanford University has decreased their engineering library by 85 percent, with the majority of books now available to students online. The D.C. Public Library offers downloadable versions of books, audiobooks, music, and videos via OverDrive. And the New York Public Library recently ran a promotion rewarding loyal patrons who check in using Foursquare — the first person to reach 25 check-ins was rewarded with NYPL schwag.
Other libraries have simply struggled to stay afloat following drastic budget cuts. In March, the Charlotte Mecklenberg Library Board of Trustees voted to close 12 branches and lay off nearly 150 employees. Eventually a compromise was reached to keep the branches open, but hours of operation and staff salaries were slashed. In Jersey City, N.J., three branches that were slated to close last week have managed to hold on a bit longer, though they’re basically on life support.
A handful of ailing libraries nationwide have even turned to private firms like Library Systems & Services to help with running their operations — a hugely controversial move among library loyalists.
Here in the Lowcountry (SC) hours have been chopped and nearly 20 percent of the staff positions are vacant thanks to a budget shortfall totaling over $700,000. Charleston City Paper
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper announced Monday that he has agreed to amend his proposed budget to restore some library and recreation center hours originally targeted for cuts.
His decision follows a request that he restore those hours and look for budget cuts elsewhere.
To come up with the money, the mayor will have Denver Public Schools put up $600,000 to help shoulder the burden of putting police officers in city schools.
In his original budget proposal, the city was going to pay the entire $1.5 million cost of putting the officers in city schools.
Eric Brown, the mayor’s spokesman, said the school district has agreed to accept the $600,000 cost.
The additional money will allow the city to:
• Restore 16 hours at the library branches of Woodbury, Montbello, Bear Valley and University Hills.
• Cancel proposed staggered closures at recreation centers throughout the city.
• Restore 20.5 hours at nine recreation centers to current levels.
Read more: Hickenlooper restores library, rec-center hours in proposed budget – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_16314520#ixzz129fzpZCy