Posts tagged budget
From the UK’s Guardian, libraries in Britain, the US and most everywhere else are suffering the most enormous losses due to the poor economy, much more than their fair share.
Today, Patrick Ness (who is a citizen of both the US and Britain) was presented with the 2011 Carnegie Medal for Monsters of Men – and gave an excoriating acceptance speech, in which he lambasted the government’s policy on libraries.
Patrick Ness: ‘If Ed Vaizey (Member of Parliament and Culture Minister) is passionate about libraries and his government is working behind the scenes to save them, that must be the best-kept secret in the country. I have seen leakier super-injunctions’.
More from The Guardian.
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.
Heather Braum and I are working diligently to get Save Libraries up and running. We’ve added a photo page pulling in all the Flickr photos tagged “savelibraries.”
Take a look at the images, let us know what you think, and volunteer to help the cause by tagging related photos with “savelibraries.”
I sat at the Library Board of Trustees Meeting last Thursday and watched County Manager Harry Jones talk about the grim reality facing Mecklenburg County–a $13.2 million in immediate budget cuts across all departments before June 30th and an estimated $85 million shortfall for fiscal year 2010-2011 which begins July 1. You can view Jones’ presentation to the Library Board here: http://bit.ly/dgAZ7U.
After Jones’ presentation Library Director Charles Brown made his recommendation to close 12 libraries and layoff 148 staff members.
As you can imagine library staff were anxiously awaiting the news back at their branches or at home or from wherever they were connected.
I’ve been with the Library for nearly 11-years now and it is fascinating to see the role social media has played in these events. When we faced budget cuts in previous years it took days to get the news. Now with the advent of social media the news was transmitted instantly through Twitter feeds, Facebook, instant messaging, text messaging, and probably through other means that I’m not even aware of.
One former staff member tweeted that his heart was broken over the news.
But out of the meeting came a glimmer of hope when community members and the Library Friends group spoke up and said we can make a difference, we can do this. The tone in the room changed instantly from despair to hope. Before the meeting adjourned a library staff member back at her desk had created the event on Facebook $2 million in one week which aims to raise enough money to keep the 12 libraries open until July.
Since then the Library has raised more than $70,000 in online donations alone! Cash donations collected at libraries will be tallied on Monday.
This weekend saw grassroots efforts sprouting up all over Mecklenburg County with everything from a town-hall meeting to children selling lemonade to support the library.
Not only is the community rallying but staff members are rallying as well. Look for the next post which will show how you can help support the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.