Save the libraries roundup

So, I have some free time this week since I am supposed to be at PLA. My slides and my notes and links are online: Library 2.0 and Reader’s Advisory. I read about what the other speakers had to say, it sounds like it was a really lively pre-conference.

I came back to a facebook full of pleas for library assistance including the Save Libraries umbrella group for all the assorted campaigns. Apparently this is a very bad time to be a library. I’ve been meaning to do a wrap-up of some of the save the library campaigns. My apologies that it’s taken me so long to do this.

  • Charlotte & Mecklenburg County libraries [in NC, original home to 23 Things] may have to close 12 branches depending on what happens with the budgets. I was alerted to this via the $2 million in one week facebook group. Clicking on “learn more” on their website takes me to a donation form with a little more information but I think this budget page is most useful and this news release explains what’s really happening.
  • Los Angeles Public is in trouble again and their Save the Libraries website is back up and running with newly updated information and some good action items including sample letters you can send to the mayor. There is a meeting today. Facebook page has some more details.
  • Florida is looking at wiping out state aid for libraries. Coming from a state that has no state-level funding for libraries, I know what a mess this is going to be. I’ve also been to two different Florida library systems in the past few months. They’ve got a good thing going on, it would be a shame to screw it up. Blog is here. Here’s the FLA’s statement and list of links.
  • The New Jersey Library Association has posted a Critical Legislative Alert (pdf). There’s more information on their legislative page. Looks like budget cuts and furlough days for state library employees.
  • There’s a mostly-empty Save Libraries website up at LISHost. ALA has an undated page which may or may not be relevant. The pages it links to seem to be from 2009.
  • Ohio has a very attention-getting website at Save Ohio Libraries with links to some great tools by OPLIN including a find-a-library tool.
  • In a little bit of good news, it looks like after the hubub of the past few years Providence Public Library is doing okay.

If people want to add more in the comments, please do. Times are tough all over, but libraries are needed more n tough times, not less.

15 thoughts on “Save the libraries roundup

  1. Heather Braum and I are working to get up and running. We created the site this weekend but this is a labor of love that I have taken on in my spare time which this week has been nil. We’d love to have you contribute and help with the site though! -LR

  2. The Boston Public Library is considering closing as many of a third of branches and laying off up to a quarter of staff. The biggest of the Boston Save the Library groups is here:

  3. In addition to our site, which advocates for state funding, many libraries in Ohio are on their local ballot and have a website for that. For this coming May 4 election, I think that number is about 20. There are some links on this page here:

  4. First, I love that illustration. Could posters of it be sold as fund-raisers?

    Second, absolutely right: as the economy crashes, fewer people can buy books, and the library becomes the number one refuge of readers.

    Third, speaking of readers: today inaugurates National Poetry Month. All are welcome….

  5. There’s also an active FB group called Save NJ Libraries with more than 7,000 members.
    And even before the new budget proposal came out, the NJ State Library was doing a way-cool Library Champions campaign, complete w/ celebrities, authors, & sports stars. This gave us an email list of folks to send advocacy messages & legislative alerts to.
    So we were already preparing, but still — nobody is prepared for a funding cut of 74% !!

  6. To echo Laura’s March 24th post, we’re facing budget cuts at the Boston Public Library – there’s been a huge outcry from the public which is heartening to see. A group of us passionate MLIS students at Simmons College have been discussing this wave of library closures in classes, and assisting the efforts. We’ve starting a postcard writing / button campaign (can post our templates for whoever wants it): “Save Our Librar* ” which serves as silly librar* humor and a handy teachable moment – a small example of how librarians and resources beyond Google are still relevant.

  7. It looks like Florida libraries will be spared somewhat–instead of removing state aid altogether, the library budget has been (tentatively) pegged at $11.75 million.

    It’s not as bad as it could have been, but the change does mean that our library’s book budget has been cut in half.

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