Posts tagged funding
The Erie County Legislature snapped its logjam on a 2011 budget Tuesday by restoring $4 million in support for the busy library system and renewing grants for an array of arts groups that would have collected no county dollars next year under the county executive’s proposal.
In a surprise, the library allocation drew unanimous Legislature support as the six-member Republican bloc broke from County Executive Chris Collins.
Collins had wanted to drop the county’s contribution to the libraries to $18 million, from $22 million, next year. But amid a public backlash, the Republicans teamed with rarely united Democrats to deliver the full $22 million.
The would-be recipients, however, should not count on the money just yet. Collins, who never likes it when the Legislature messes with his budgets, vowed vetoes and other steps to nullify what lawmakers did.
“Absolutely there are going to be some vetoes,” he told reporters in his 16th-floor office Tuesday evening as county lawmakers went home. “Whether we veto everything or not will be something we will talk to our commissioners about.”
But he added: “Whatever I do, I will look at cutting the funding for the libraries last. I will cut the culturals before I cut funding to the libraries.”
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 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.
Let’s hope this does not become the reality!
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.
From the American Libraries Association Office:
Please call your U.S. senators in Washington, D.C., today and ask them to sign onto a “Dear Appropriator” letter that is circulating around the Senate. This letter will be sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee and will be asking the committee to support the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (ILTSL) program in its FY2011 budget.
BACKGROUND ON THE PROGRAMS AND WHAT WE ARE ASKING FOR
Congress is currently drafting the federal budget for fiscal year 2011. It has never been more important than now that Congress fully funds the LSTA, the only annual source for federal funding to libraries. As Congress writes next year’s budget they need to understand that dollars from the state and local levels are at an all-time low, and libraries can not continue to do their important work without this funding.
In this “Dear Appropriator” letter that is circulating around in the Senate, the signatures are urging the Appropriations Committee to include $300 million in funding through LSTA in the FY2011 budget. Please contact your two senators’ offices and tell them about the work your library does in the state and community. It is always a good idea to stress what programs and resources your library provides to help build the local economy, help kids with their homework, and so much more. After you have explained how libraries are an incredibly valuable investment, please ask your senator to sign onto the “Dear Appropriator” letter supporting LSTA and Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (ILTSL).
In his FY2011 budget request, President Obama consolidated Improving Literacy Through School Libraries with five other literacy programs. This would mean that school libraries will have to directly compete with other dissimilar programs to receive federal dollars under the President’s plan. However, Congress is drafting their own budget for FY2011 right now, and there is no word yet if they will go along with President Obama’s recommendation of consolidation. Congress needs to hear from you NOW about the important role that school libraries play in today’s schools.
Right now there is a letter circulating around the Senate urging the Appropriations Committee to specifically appropriate $100 million for the ILTSL program. This amount would make money available to every state, rather than the current competitive grant program. Please contact your two senators’ offices explaining to them how important having a school library can be in a child’s education. Please ask them to sign on to the ILTSL and LSTA “Dear Appropriator” by customizing the letter below.
The deadline for the “Dear Appropriator” letter is April 14, so please contact your senators today and urge them to sign on! Also, please ask your friends and library supporters to contact their senators as well – we need to keep the pressure on our elected officials so these programs receive the funding they need.
To take action, please take the following steps:
- Please go to http://capwiz.com/ala.
- Customize the sample letter as you see fit – remember, a personal story on how your library benefits your community matters the most!
- Enter your contact information.
- Press Send.
- If you would prefer to call your representative, feel free to dial the Capitol switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask for your representative. The switchboard will transfer you to their office. If you need to locate your members of Congress, please go to http://capwiz.com/ala/.
- Please ask your friends and supporters to call. We need as many signatures as possible on these letters and your grassroots efforts could make the difference.
American Library Association