Libaries in Florida face a serious threat of losing the State Aid to Libraries grant in the State budget. The Legislature budget conferees agreed to eliminate this funding completely.
Here in Lake County, we’d lose an estimated $239,000. These dollars support libraries automation and network infrastructure, online databases, support of literacy programs, etc. The county simply cannot make up the difference.
The Florida Library Association will ask Governor Crist to intervene and to try to persuade leading legislators to fund the program at the $21.2 million level. The session is slated to close on Sunday, so there is only about 48 hours to work on this issue.
The elimination of this funding will force the closing of library branches around the state and will particularly damaging in rural counties.
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION and ask them how the elimination of state funds for libraries will affect your community. Ask them to go to House and Senate leadership and insist that they fund State Aid to Libraries.
If you are not sure who your legislators are, visit http://www.votesmart.org/ and and click the link on the left column to find your legislators by your zip code.
PLEASE CONTACT GOVERNOR CRIST’S office and tell his staff the story. 850-488-7146, firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE CONTACT LARRY CRETUL, Speaker of the House, email@example.com 352-873-6564, 850-488-1450
PLEASE CONTACT JEFF ATWATER, Senate President, firstname.lastname@example.org, 850-487-5100
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR PERSONAL NETWORK. Ask your friends, organizations to which you may belong, local government lobbyists and your local media to join in this effort.
One of my favorite parts of college was poking around in the research databases…I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it and how much I learned. My daughter, ready to graduate from Valencia and move on to UCF, also loves these databases. As a library patron, I still have access to this amazing resource without even leaving home! But under the current budget plan, I’ll be lucky to have a library to go to, much less access to the wonders of professional level research databases (our local library has already experienced cutbacks in the number of hours they can stay open each week…hiring freeze, etc.)
How have public libraries made your life better? What services do they provide that you’d find it difficult to live without? What benefits do they provide to your community?