Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bad News Doesn't Make for Happy Blogging

My last post to Libraries, Books and Technology was December 1, 2009. It's now February 3. A little more than two months later. So, where have I been?

I suspect I fell into a funk because of all the bad library news that was about to be made public for the Cumberland County Library System:
  • Three libraries - Amelia, New Cumberland and East Pennsboro- needing to close an entire week day, plus reduce their daily hours throughout the week.
  • New book, audio and DVD budgets being slashed by huge amounts: $142,748 -- down 19% from the previous year.
  • Hours being reduced at most of our other libraries, plus most libraries are closed a few more holidays throughout the year.
  • State-funded resources like POWER Library taking a beating. (By my count today, 21 POWER databases have or are about to disappear...How will our students complete homework assignments?)
All of this is distressing because it affects our service to you. At a time when citizens are relying on us even more -- last year you borrowed 2,759,871 books, audios, and DVDs from our collection, up 4% from the prior year.

However, all through this latest round of belt-tightening, I'm proud to say that we have worked hard to try and maintain our services within our resources. Like you, staff are a little stressed in this economic downturn. But, we'll do our best to continue making your library system the best it can be.

Thanks for your continued support!


Nathan said...

Definitely a bummer. What other ways is the library system raising money to fund operations?

Jonelle Prether Darr said...

We are doing a lot of things. Some of these include:
- Raising fines from $.25 to $.30;
- Many libraries are now accepting 'free will offerings' at children, teen and adult programs;
- All libraries will have annual fundraising appeals;
- We will have a lot of fundraisers - one new one this year is on February 20 -
Fredricksen's Birdie for Books

Carrie Haverman, District Consultant said...

Nicely put.
I posted a new entry in the "musings" category on the district website that is intended to be a little inspiring. It might not be Happy Blogging, but it's one way to look at it.