Californa Governor’s proposed budget includes eliminating state funding for libraries. Now, library funding is a complex thing so this is a different sort of animal than saying “Let’s close all the libraries!” but it’s still not only a blow for CA’s libraries but could also endanger other federal funding which is predicated on matching what the state already offers. The California Library Association has posted a response to Brown on their website.
4 thoughts on “Brown’s proposed CA budget eliminates library funding”
It’s complicated how the state funds local libraries. Libraries get money for sharing materials with each other (known as Transaction Based Reimbursements). As a California resident, I can go into any library, get a card, and check out materials. It’s a great system. It is also a big funding source for those who can take advantage of it, especially a consortium. Brown essentially destroys that funding. The response from the Governor is that libraries should be funded locally. Furthermore, with a 66% approval required for any new taxes, it’s difficult to raise any additional funding beyond property tax. There is a good post here regarding the situation http://pvlddirectorsblog.typepad.com/kathy/2011/01/the-governors-budget-proposal-what-it-means-for-california-libraries.html but the cuts mean different things to different libraries. (Which makes it tough to advocate against the cuts other than, this will reduce services.)
Funny how these politicians never decide that the legislature should have all its funding cut….
If we take the proposed budget cut of $30M and divide by the population of California (Googled at 36,961,664), we come up with $0.81 per resident. Let’s figure that half of residents pay taxes, so that comes to $1.63 per taxpayer. About the same as a medium coffee from Starbucks. Disheartening, to say the least.
Funding libraries and schools locally may sound like a reasonable idea on the face of it, but it results in the age-old problem of having the best resources and services in the richest communities, and the fewest and worst libraries or schools in the poorest communities where they’re needed most.
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