Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Budget Deal Details Mean Big Library Cuts

This past weekend's state budget agreement calls for a 34% cut to basic library funding. Plus, the proposed cut for POWER Library, Ask Here PA, the statewide library card and interlibrary delivery is even bigger — 73%. This will eliminate POWER Library databases from schools and public libraries.

This means Cumberland County's libraries will lose about three quarters of a million dollars. Plus our kids won't have POWER library databases anymore at their school or public library.

WOW! It's hard to believe this kind of deal can be passed when libraries are busier than ever — helping people find jobs, families meet tight budgets, and retirees deal with shrinking savings.

In the first 3 months of this year, Cumberland County's libraries had:
  • More than 45,000 people use our free high-speed Internet computers — a 33% increase from last year. (Libraries are a lifeline for the unemployed—the only place they can go to search and apply for jobs online.)
  • 3258 people sign up for new library cards — a 13% increase from last year.
Cutting overall library funding 38% is not sharing the pain, but shouldering the burden.

If you care about your library services, make your voice heard now. It's not too late.

To send a message to your legislator and the governor, go to the Pennsylvania Library Association's web site: http://www.capwiz.com/ala/pa/issues/alert/?alertid=13993771

Help keep funding at current levels so that your library will be there when you need it most.