Jan 19, 2011

Proposed Budget Demolishes Statewide Library Programs

I got an email today from Texas Library Association about the proposed budget changes the great state of Texas may suffer. Ugh, makes me so incredibly sad to talk about it, but I had to share. Here are the proposed changes in a nutshell:
  • Eliminates Loan Star Libraries (direct aid grants to public libraries)
  • Eliminates all state funding for TexShare databases (replaces state funding for databases with increased fees to member libraries) 
  • Eliminates the K-12 Database program
  • Eliminates the Library System Negotiated Grants Program (the new competitive grant program started last session for systems)
  • Eliminates state funding for consulting services to libraries (program/staff based at the agency)
  • Assumes an overall loss of over $8 million in IMLS funds (Note: federal funding is the source of funding for the regional library systems, the TANG program, and interlibrary loan.)
This budget shows a 99% decrease in state funding for statewide local library aid programs and a 93% state cut to library resource sharing programs at the State Library. Overall, the agency cuts amount to about a 70% cut in state funds and an all funds reduction about a third of the agency’s budget.

Even if you don't understand all that is going on, just look at the word ELIMINATE! That is enough to made me shudder. TLA is asking us all to stand up, and do something about it! Luckily, they provided things we can do...

1) Call your state representative and senator and tell them not to cut library funding.

2) Develop an awareness campaign within you community. See the “What My Library Means to Me Campaign.” Start marshaling your resources and get your army of supporters mobilized for action.

3) Inform people around you -- administrators, community powerbrokers, student groups, PTAs. Show them how they can save state funding for libraries. Ask them to speak and write to elected officials.

4) Participate in Legislative Day. (There is still time to get a hotel room through tomorrow!)

5) Write letters to the editor; contact your local media about library funding.

So, I ask you to please do something for our Texas libraries...even if it's just one thing off the list. You can easily spread the word via Facebook, your blog, and Twitter. 

For more information visit TLA