Posts tagged library
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.”
The future of the Troy Public Library is “as clear as mud,” the city’s lawyer said Wednesday, after voters defeated four millage proposals designed to create and fund an independent library board.
And in Bloomfield Hills, voters sent a resounding “no” on Tuesday to a six-year, 0.617-mill library levy, with 61% of voters shooting down the measure, 1,342-842. Supporters sought to resume a lending contract with Bloomfield Township’s library or strike up a new deal with the library in Birmingham.
The Troy measure is likely to become a topic of Monday’s City Council meeting, where Mayor Louise Schilling is expected to bring up the possible censure of Councilman Martin Howrylak over his letter advocating the measures’ defeat.
Troy’s Proposal 1, the 10-year, 0.9885-millage, failed by 689 votes, 15,590-14,901, with 51% voting against it. The three other millage proposals failed by more than 80% of the vote each.
The library is scheduled to close July 1, after the City Council slashed funding and library hours this year and all funding by June 30.
Read more: Detroit Free Press.
Facing a $600,000 shortfall, the Des Plaines Illinois library could close in early December if it doesn’t get the money needed to tide it over until the end of the year.
The library board has asked the city council for up to a $1.5 million loan, which has yet to be voted on. The library is waiting for nearly $3 million from Cook County tax receipts.
“They have to come in front of the city council and justify why they want this loan . . . [and] justify to the city council that they are making the necessary cuts so they won’t have to come to us for loans in the future,” Mayor Marty Moylan said.
He said the library needs to return to its core mission of making “basic reading material available.” Moylan said he has heard comments in the community that the library shouldn’t, for example, be in the business of loaning out CDs and movies for free.
Here’s great coverage of the ongoing situation at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Volunteers are needed and being trained to help do things like pull holds, check in materials, shelve, and organize the collections. This frees up the limited remaining staff to continue providing the excellent customer service that the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is known for.
Library Volunteer Coordinator Chauna Wall told me that one of the hopes is that these volunteers will get a close up and personal, behind-the-scenes look at the work library staff do. These volunteers will be able to provide testimony as to the importance of libraries and will be some of the Library’s biggest advocates in upcoming elections and budget planning for next year.
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
Let’s hope this does not become the reality!
Lori Reed asked me to assist in the monitoring and updating of this Web site. Though excited to contribute to such a worthy cause, I’m also extremely nervous. Lori is a guru at technology and I’m… well, I’m really good at talking. Hopefully, I can link you to the correct locations, educate you about the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system, and give you hope for a brighter future in the world of life long learning.
I wanted to have my first post be about me, or more specifically, why me? Why would Lori ask me, a girl with a blog called Lipstick Makes Everything Better, work and write for a library system? Because a library takes everyone, even me, a former head cheerleader and Sweetheart Princess who may very well own library books from my childhood because I couldn’t give them up. I still don’t know my way around my home town because I read everywhere we went.
Libraries are for everyone. The young to old; rich to poor; doctorate degree to no high school diploma; you walk in our doors and you will be served by educated and trained staff. Your story time will include necessary building blocks to ensure you are ready to read. Your homework research assignment will be accommodated. Your need for further technology skills will be addressed.
Or, at least, all of that used to be the case. I believe staff will continue to meet community needs as best they can. But financial support is critical. When it comes to retaining the best talent, libraries are no different than any other business. It takes money, along with a positive work environment, to retain the best talent. I’m ready to stand up for an institution that needs champions. As a former cheerleader, I’m used to rallying fans. Join me. Let’s go, fight, win!
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