Boston Public Library faces new books shortage


Rich writes "Sunday's Boston Globe reports that the Boston Public Library has fewer new books available for patrons since it stopped leasing books from McNaughton Books, causing a 4 percent drop in circulation at the central library. "The move, obviously, is about money. The BPL budget has averaged a 7 percent hit each of the past two fiscal years and is level funded for 2005. "The choice was to cut heavily into the materials budget to avoid staff layoffs and keep all the branches open." "To avoid layoffs, the BPL lost $300,000 in state funding this year by failing to devote the required 12 percent of its budget to materials (aquisitions)."


Salaries and hiring were frozen to help the collection budget. In tough times, which is more important, getting books to users on a shoestring or preserving what's already paltry pay for librarians?

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