Brown’s proposed CA budget eliminates library funding

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.

Philadelphia Libraries Staying Open

Budget passed. Libraries are staying open.

I have mixed feelings about this “unless you pass the budget, we will close the libraries!” sort of PR move, but I have to admit that I didn’t follow this last one as closely as I have followed these things in the past. I am, as always, happy that libraries are staying open. That said, I honestly didn’t think this wouldn’t pass. I don’t want people to feel threatened to vote for things — more cops, more fire fighters, more librarians — I’d like them to vote for things because they’re a good idea. Budgets are terribly complicated and we’re all making tough choices about money. I’d like to think that we could, possibly, trust our elected representatives to stand by their words, as when the Philadelphia mayor said “We will not close facilities that serve our most vulnerable populations, such as libraries, health centers, or recreation centers.” I realize that the final decision is not his alone, but I did feel like folks had our back on this one.

EPA libraries slated to close under new budget proposal

Big ugly news in the Government/Special libraries sector. The proposed US Budget includes slashing the EPA library budget by 80% which means no more library and no more electronic catalog.

The size of the cuts will force the Headquarters library and most of the regional libraries to shut their doors and cease operations. Each year, the EPA libraries

  • Handle more than 134,000 research requests from its own scientific and enforcement staff
  • House and catalog an estimated 50,000 “unique” documents that are available nowhere else
  • Operate public reading rooms and provide the public with access to EPA databases.

“Access to information is one of the best tools we have for protecting the environment,” added Ruch, calling the cuts the “epitome of penny wise and pound foolish.” “By contrast, closing the Environmental Protection Agency libraries actually threatens to subtract from the sum total of human knowledge.”

Add to this the proposed elimination of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science by rolling it into the Institute of Museum and Library Services and you have to wonder what sort of price we’re paying for the deep budgetary hole the country has been falling in to.