Tag Archives: Budgets

Spokane Public Library extends hours

“This time last year Spokane Public Library thought 2014 would be a grim year. Dwindling funds meant they would likely have to close at least one branch and reduce hours even more. However, a levy passed last February not only ensures all the branches will stay open, but for the first time in eight years the Indian Trail, East Side and Hillyard branches will be open five days a week.c“Budget has been difficult,” said Eva Silverstone, Communications Manager for Spokane Public Library. The city libraries have been struggling for years. In 2005, hours at the Indian Trail, East Side and Hillyard branches were slashed to only 16 hours a week. After public outcry, the hours at those locations were increased to 22 hours a week. Less than half the operational hours at the Downtown, Shadle and South Hill branches.” (via West Spokane News)

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UNT students protest library cutbacks

“An estimated 1,500 students had signed a petition showing their support for the University of North Texas Libraries by Tuesday afternoon during an on-campus protest at the Library Mall. Jody Billeaudeaux, a senior with a focus on philosophy and anthropology, said he organized the protest after he read an article in the Nov. 16 issue of the Denton Record-Chronicle in which Provost Warren Burggren discussed the $1.7 million budget hit to the library.” (via Denton Record Chronicle)

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Task force begins to tackle how to fund, operate Miami-Dade libraries

“The campaign to save Miami-Dade County’s public libraries from closure and downsizing, which lost some of its urgency when the county found money to fund the system for one more year, will rev up again — this time, for the long haul. A task force convened by Mayor Carlos Gimenez will meet for the first time Wednesday. Its goal: to find a way for the beleaguered public library system to survive in a time of digital books and shrinking county budgets.” (via MiamiHerald.com)

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$6 million tune-up planned for Harold Washington Library

“Chicago’s showcase Harold Washington Library is in line for a $6 million facelift — including a new roof, generators, heating and cooling systems — courtesy of tax increment financing. TIF funding for the library equivalent of a 100,000-mile checkup for the 26-year-old central library — and the same for the 30-year-old Sulzer Regional Library — is tucked away in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2014 budget.” (via Chicago Sun-Times)

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Is the End of the School Library Upon Us? Budget Cuts Hit Librarians Where it Hurts

“Paul McIntosh of Wadleigh Secondary School in Harlem has spent the past 10 years building what he calls “an environment where young people can explore all dimensions of the human experience.” He recruits big-name guests for his popular speaker series, publishes an annual poetry anthology, even acts as an unofficial guidance counselor to any student who reaches out to him for help. For those struggling with school, personal problems, even thoughts of suicide, the school library is one place they can go to find solace. Whether it’s a transgendered student being bullied or a shy writer trying to find his voice, McIntosh says kids have, for years, turned to him for support.” (via Alternet)

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Two [Philadelphia] shuttered school libraries to reopen

“Two school libraries, shuttered last month due to budget cuts, will reopen Tuesday after a donation from an anonymous donor. As The Inquirer reported last month, Central High and Masterman, two of the city’s most prestigious schools, closed their libraries because the district did not fund librarians. Principals of the two schools, magnets that take in top students from across the city, lamented the closures, and said the budget cuts had taken aim at the very heart of their institutions.” (via Philadelphia Inquirer)

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Library issue may divide Columbia, rural voters

“If Columbia voters are motivated to cast ballots Nov. 5 in a three-man race for mayor, that could help advocates of a proposed tax increase for libraries, some observers say. City voters are likely to be more receptive to raising taxes for libraries – while county voters, with nothing else on the ballot to interest them, may choose to stay home on Election Day, political consultant Tige Watts said Sunday.” (via The State)

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Libraries seek decades of funding amid digital upheaval

“In Silicon Valley where readers are more apt to download an e-book than pick a paperback off the shelf, voters still overwhelmingly agreed to fund public libraries for another two decades even as some question the centuries-old institution’s future in the digital age. On the heels of the Santa Clara County public library system’s successful parcel tax renewal, San Jose leaders are now preparing to ask voters to renew theirs as well, anywhere from 10 to 20 years. Libraries remain popular here. Mayor Chuck Reed once remarked with amazement that voters insisted libraries stay open even as budget cuts threatened reductions in the police force.” (via San Jose Mercury News)

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Libraries: are they better with wine? Or much, much worse?

“There is a lot of chatter about new forms and uses for libraries in and out of Library Land these days. The strange part about it is that it’s often framed in abstract, lofty terms: “reinvisioning,” “reimagining” and other appalling “re-” formations. But behind it is the terrifying, entirely non-abstract Lack Of Money, as government budgets for libraries have gotten tighter and tighter.  England has had it especially bad, and there’s no improvement in sight…” (via MobyLives)

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What libraries do for us – and me

“‘A city without a library is like a graveyard.” Those were the words that Malala Yousafzai, the inspirational Pakistani women’s rights activist, used to open Birmingham’s new £189m library this month. A poignant statement, considering the continuing tide of public library closures announced recently. To paraphrase a famous scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, what do libraries do for us? Well, they introduce many into the world of literacy and learning and help to make it a lifelong habit; they equalise; they teach empathy and help us to learn about each other; they preserve our cultural heritage; they protect our right to know and to learn; they build communities; they strengthen and advance us as a nation; they empower us as individuals.” (via The Guardian)

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