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He says As a Florida historian, he was deeply concerned when he heard the news that Governor Bush recommended the closing of the Florida State Library and the transfer of the state archives, state museum, and Bureau of Historic Preservation to other departments within the government. His proposed actions stemmed from a disagreement with Florida voters in the 2002 election. Although Bush won reelection, voters in Florida voiced their disapproval of his educational policies when they approved a statewide amendment to reduce public school class sizes within the next ten years. On the campaign trail, the governor had actually attacked the amendment as irresponsible and too costly for the fragile state budget, declaring that he had a "devious" plan to subvert it.
Susan Dillinger writes "According to the latest news, Sec. of State Hood plans on soliciting private donors in order to move the State Library Collection to Nova University, ignoring the vote of the Florida Legislature and the citizens of Florida.
Hood also indicated Tuesday she may keep pushing to move a major chunk of
the State Library out of Tallahassee, raising fears among opponents of the
move that their fight may not be over."
Susan Dillinger sent in News That the Florida House and Senate agree: Keep state library in Tallahassee.
The House sent a message to Gov. Jeb Bush by agreeing with the Senate that
the State Library should stay in Tallahassee. One of the handful of
amendments to the House appropriations bill approved today retains the
current staffing for the library and cuts the $2 million that would have
been used this year to move the $10 million collection to Nova Southeastern
University in Fort Lauderdale.
The transfer was one of Bush's budget priorities, but it encountered stiff
opposition from library lovers statewide. Because the action matches what's
in the Senate budget, it takes the issue off the table during upcoming
"We'll be sending a message that we heard the many voices of the people of
the state of Florida," said Rep. Loranne Ausley, D-Tallahassee, who
co-sponsored an amendment keeping the library along with Rep. Bev Kilmer,
"State lawmakers on Friday killed Gov. Jeb Bush's controversial plan to move the State Library's circulating collection to Nova Southeastern University, ending a quest that would have vastly enhanced the Broward school's research collection with one stroke."
"House members, without objection, approved a budget amendment from Rep. Bev Kilmer, R-Marianna, that stripped any funding from the House budget proposal for 2003-04 to move the library."
"So ends a proposal that would have made the NSU library a top destination for government researchers and academia. The Davie campus was poised to acquire a unique 350,000-volume collection rich with books that serve the needs of government and social science." (from The Maimi Herald)
An OP-ED piece from The Honoluluadvertiser, By Nick Huddleston, President of Friends of the Library of Hawai'i, says he is disturbed by criticism of State Librarian Virginia Lowell by legislators and others who have implied she is not doing what she can to maintain library hours and respond to the desires of the Legislature and the public.
Kathleene passed along This tallahassee.com story that says Librarians from across Florida urged legislators Monday to allow a little "weeding" of unneeded books, rather than uprooting the State Library from Tallahassee as Gov. Jeb Bush has proposed in his budget.
"I fear that by breaking up the collection, we'll become more forgetful than we already are," he said. "Florida is a state of newcomers; we lack a cultural memory. Our real historic resources are in that building and to the extent that we scatter them, we may as well be throwing out our own heritage, our own consciousness, up in the air."
"Librarian of Virginia Nolan T. Yelich and the state library board were honored Monday for their efforts to get former Gov. Jim Gilmore's records placed in the state achives for use by historians and researchers."
"Yelich and the board received the Freedom of Information Award given by the Virginia Coalition for Open Government, a group founded in 1996 to promote public access to government."
"Gilmore and the state library reached a mediated agreement last November to have 236 additional boxes of records sent to the library, ending a six-month impasse." (from The Daily Press)
Oghma writes "
Cecil Beach, a former State Librarian questions the wisdom of spending millions to save millions and points out the difficulty of trying to convert a building built specifically as a library into state office space.
Kathleene passed along this email from Barratt Wilkins, former state librarian, on the Florida State Library mess.
"Everyone interested in the State Library issue ought
to read the Executive Office of the Governor's newsletter entitled IN THE NEWS, v. 5, Issue 10, March 7, 2003 in which a "State Library Clarification" is printed as a part of "Message from Governor Bush".
First the newsletter indicates that the "circulating collection" is not "permanent". Only the permanent collections of the State Library are remaining in the Gray Building. -- Read More
Ray Ferrero Jr. , president of Nova Southeastern University, has
an OP-ED in the Tallahassee Democrat.
He says he is pleased that Nova has been chosen for this
task and stands willing to implement this policy decision with the
state while making sure this value-added asset will not adversely
impact the existing joint-use agreement with Broward County.