Posts tagged advocacy
This was originally posted on The Desk Set: http://thedeskset.org/?p=4426
“Show the love people. Urban Librarians Unite will be staging a mass hug of the Schwarzman Building (that is the dreamy one with the lions) on June 4th at 2PM. NYPL are fully in our corner and love the event. Our old pals at BPL and Queens are on board as well of course and it is going to be incredible activism for all three libraries in the city.
We will form a continuous human chain around the building. You can imagine us giving it a big squeeze. We LOVE the damn library people, let’s give it a snuggle. Some of our more militant members are also likening the image to a human shield kinda thing, throwing ourselves in front of the building to protect it. Make of it what you will but you gotta come out.
Do NOT be late. The crowd meets critical mass on Saturday June 4th, 2PM come rain or shine. This is us literally rallying around the library, to embrace it, to interpose our bodies between it and a harsh world. There are no rainchecks and fashionably late will be yesterday’s news.
If you have never done something like this it is incredibly exhilarating and a lot of fun. It really does feel like you are part of something larger and the mood is going to be light. If you’ve never been to a rally the hug will be a great start and if you have been to this kinda thing before then you already know this one is going to be a blast.
Now is the time to show what you believe in. This is quite literally your chance to put it on the line. Stand up. Stand proud. Show the world your courage and determination. Show up on time & show the politicians and media that libraries are a force to be reckoned with.”
***400 people are needed to make this event a huge success — check out the Facebook event: http://tinyurl.com/4xu8not and RSVP for you are in the NYC-area!***
Check out the original blog post: http://savenyclibraries.org/2011/02/28/advocate-for-libraries-this-tuesday-march-1st-in-albany/
Tomorrow is the first of March. Thankfully, this signifies that winter is almost over. But, it is also Library Advocacy Day (the day formerly known as Lobby or Albany Day.) The New York Library Association (NYLA) needs support for this event to be successful. Here are two main reasons to support and participate in Library Advocacy Day on March 1st in Albany, NY.
Looking at the library aid cuts over the last couple years, library aid has been already reduced five times since 2008 from $102 million to $84 million in 2010. The proposed 10% cut would reduce library aid to $76 million, which is below 1994 levels, according to NYLA. For more information on library aid cuts and advocacy points, please check out this informative PDF from NYLA.
With these cuts, library aid makes up for less than 1% of the state budget, yet libraries serve 57% of the state’s population (10.6 million library card holders), or 75% of households in New York. Libraries need to be able to continue to provide access to information, from job assistance to education programs, even helping families save money by borrowing materials and attending cultural and literacy programs. Libraries need support to continue these quality services.
For those reasons above, if possible, making a trip to Albany on March 1st, will help strengthen the message that libraries need more funding. We need to speak with legislators and have them understand the value of libraries in our communities. If you aren’t able to make the trip to Albany, there are still ways to advocate for libraries. Call/write your legislators and reinforce this message. NYLA has several advocacy tools to help with this process: NYLA Advocacy Tools
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
From a June 21 Charlotte Mecklenburg Library press release
Charlotte, NC – In a historic move, five of the Towns in Mecklenburg County have committed to providing one-time support to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library for fiscal year 2011 (FY2011). In each of the five Towns, local governing bodies met, and approved or conditionally approved an Interlocal Cooperation Agreement with the Library. The Library would like to thank the governing bodies and staffs of all the Towns, as well as Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte, for coming together in support of libraries during this crisis.
The five participating Towns have committed to the following levels of support.
- Cornelius: $175,000 contribution
- Davidson: forgiveness of lease payment in the amount of approximately $37,000; and solicitation of additional donations to total $175,000
- Huntersville: in-kind contributions such as programs, cross-promotion, representative liaison for the Huntersville
- Destinations Round Table, and police/security presence in and around the North County Regional Library
- Matthews: restructuring of lease to defer current payment to 2018 of $205,000
- Mint Hill: $175,000 contribution
With this latest contribution of approximately $730,000 from the Towns, the Library will have approximately $23.3 million to operate its 20 remaining locations in FY2011. This is a significant decrease from approximately $32 million in County funding for FY2010; but an increase from the originally proposed funding level of $17.67 million. The Library still had to close four branches last week, and will have to cut hours at the remaining branches by 26%, and lay off approximately 66, or 18%, of remaining staff. 120 staff were laid off in April due to FY2010 reductions.
Based on this funding level, Library officials have proposed a schedule of operation, with 670-680 hours spread over 20 locations. This would group all locations into geographic areas or “pods” – each with one regional and several community libraries. In this proposed schedule, the regional libraries will be open at least 34 hours and 4 days a week; the community libraries will be open at least 32 hours and 4 days a week. This schedule is the hours equivalent of closing six branches. The Library Board of Trustees will vote on this schedule, as well as the FY2011 budget, at its regular meeting on Thursday, June 24 at noon.
To recap the Library’s FY2011 funding situation to date: last week, Mecklenburg County approved $21.17 million in funding for the Library: $17.67 million, plus $3.5 million contingent upon the Library agreeing to pursue the consolidation of some Library functions such as IT, Human Resources, Communications, Finance, and Capital Projects management. Mecklenburg County also credited the Library with approximately $2.28 million for the consolidation of its Maintenance and Security functions. On June 7, the City of Charlotte approved $1.4 million in one-time emergency funding for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, with similar conditions.
To help guide the re-examination of the Library’s operating and funding models, the Library Board expects to convene a citizen task force.
Citizens concerned about libraries can visit www.cmlibrary.org/support for more information. For more information about the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, visit our website at www.cmlibrary.org.
Last week Charlotte Geeks along with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Bouncing Ferret Films filmed several library advocacy videos featuring zombies who are suffering from the loss of libraries in the community. Watch the videos, share, but be warned these may not be for very young eyes!
See more at: http://www.zombiesforlibraries.com/
PARENTAL DISCRETION ADVISED!
Zombies Natural Habitat
Remembrance of Brains Past
Farewell to Brains
The 2010 State of America’s Libraries Report is available from the American Library Association Web site. ALA President-Elect Roberta Stevens hosted a webinar on April 13, 2010 to discuss report’s key findings.
When I told my daughter about the Mint Hill Library closing down, she was confused. I told her due to budget cuts, they had to close many libraries in our community. She started to cry. I started to cry. We both cried together as she yelled out, “Why is the government taking away my books? Don’t they know children love to read!?!” That kind of reaction surprised me. She’s only seven! I explained that it is not their intention to take books away from children, but then after thinking about it… that’s exactly what they are doing. Bottom line, it does take away from the community.
After crying, she took a deep breath and remembered a story she told to me about the children’s book character Arthur and what he did to voice his opinion. It was a story about a scary book that parents wanted to take away from the kids. If it worked for Arthur, surely it would work to help save our local library, right?
The very next day at school and with help of her teacher giving her the supplies needed, she gathered her friends together at recess and made this poster. She went around to teachers and students to sign her petition to help save the library. When I went to pick her up after school, she held this poster high above her head as she marched out to me never letting the poster down once.
I didn’t realize how much this meant to her. I didn’t realize what it means to a little girl who is about to lose the very thing that brings joy to her world. Unlimited books to take her mind on journeys of learning and fantasy helping her expand her imagination as well as her intellect.
I’ll be honest and say I don’t fully understand why it is the libraries are the first thing to cut. Why must we sever an educational tool as well as many positive things that the local libraries provide to our community? It just doesn’t make sense. We are both still confused and deeply saddened, but that will not stop us from traveling just a little further to fill in that need for new stories to be read.
Her school acknowledged what my little girl did by honoring her with a perseverance award recently on their morning school TV announcements. That did bring a smile to her face and she thought she had a victory in being a very small part in supporting what she believes in fighting for and I am very proud of her. I am sending this in to help further the support we feel as a family in voicing our belief in not shutting the door to these libraries. Thank you for letting us share.
Mint Hill, North Carolina