Public Libraries

Public libraries left in a bind after state aid is slashed

"Today marks the last day of National Library Week, but administrators at libraries in Washington and Greene counties don't feel much like celebrating."

"Fifty percent of the state aid that libraries receive is about to be slashed, a move that is expected to have a serious effect on programs at area libraries."

"The cuts were part of the state budget that was proposed by new Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell and quickly passed by the Republican-controlled state Legislature. Rendell had asked lawmakers to defer action on the budget and consider it together with his plan to increase state income tax while reducing local property taxes and injecting more money into public schools. However, the Legislature chose to approve the budget that contained large cuts to a number of programs." (from Observer Reporter)

Another Library considering filtered Internet

Russell McOrmond writes "At the next meeting of the Ottawa Public Library they will be discussing the issue of internet filtering and 'swipe cards' that may be used to tie Internet access logs to a specific patron.

I am not a librarian, and suspect that if they were sent information from other Librarians on this issue that it would help greatly. Anyone who can spare a few moments before Monday would be greatly appreciated. Contact Informaiton for people who can then send information to The Board is on their website.


Full plate in library fines? Pay it in food

Bob Cox spotted This One from down in North Miami Florida.
This week, the North Miami Public Library is allowing readers with outstanding fines to pay off their debts while contributing to a good cause with its third annual Food for Fines Program.

Beginning today and running through Saturday, canned foods and dry goods will be accepted as payment for outstanding late fees.

Each food item is given a dollar equivalent that is applied toward the outstanding fine.

Meanwhile, in Broward County, In honor of the retirement of longtime Library Director Samuel F. Morrison, the county will offer a \'\'Thank You Sam\'\' amnesty week from April 27 through May 3. Here\'s that one.

Another unpopular group in the community room

SomeOne writes "Here's a twist on the usual story. Saratoga, Calif., residents are angry about a group that wants to use the new library's community room. It isn't Nazis, though. The city council wants to use the community room. "

From the article:
"To take away the ability of volunteer cash-starved organizations to have a central place to hold meetings at a modest cost is to kill the spirit and vitality of Saratoga,"

Lawmaker Wants to Ax E-Rate Program

"U.S. Rep. Tom Trancredo (R.-Colo.) has introduced legislation (H.R. 1252) to terminate the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) E-Rate program, the $2.25 billion fund designed to help schools and libraries connect to the Internet and financed by fees added to consumers' telephone bills."

"Following the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, telecoms were faced with the burden of finding a way to cover the costs of providing discounted services to schools and libraries. The telecoms convinced Congress was to pass the cost off to consumers by levying a surcharge in the form of a universal service fee on telephone bills." (from

State of Ohio GOP propose to drastically cut state

SomeOne writes "This is not an April's Fool joke but sounds like one. State of Ohio GOP is kicking around the idea of cutting state funding of libraries and
permitting local governments to fund their own libraries.
Here's the
Full Story "

Local libraries struggle with Internet access, crimes

Helen Freeman sent over Some News from
They say a man using the Internet to prey on an underage girl and used the library's free computer to do it.

Brian Morton, 21, was arrested last month and charged with violating a new, untested state law against enticing a child under 16 through the Internet. The matter is now before the courts, but the case throws into sharp relief the continuing difficulties that computers present at public libraries.

"We try to monitor what children look at," he says. "But you can't do it very well because it's a zoo in here. It's extremely busy. Kids are running around. That's how it is."

Before voting, imagine a town with no library

In today's Chicago Tribune, columnist Dawn Turner Trice, who says she has always loved libraries, plugs the library referenda that will be on the ballot tomorrow.

"Many library systems are doing well and aren't asking for tax increases. Some are doing such bang-up business that they need money for expansion. My focus is on the ones just vying to stay alive."

Funding cuts to libraries would be 'devastating'

"A 50 percent cut in state aid to public libraries could mean shorter hours to browse for books, fewer new books on the shelves, an end to children's story times and staff cutbacks at area libraries."

"Bethlehem Area Public Library stands to lose $370,000, 14 percent of its $2.6 million budget, under Gov. Ed Rendell's proposed budget."

''This is devastating to every library in Pennsylvania,'' said Jack Berk, executive director of the Bethlehem library. ''We're all crying about the proposed budget cuts.'' (from The Morning Call)

BC Library rapped for rental stance Says The Greater Victoria Library board received a stern rebuke Thursday from the provincial ombudsman, who said the board's refusal to clarify its policy on what is expected of people who rent space for meetings is unfair to the public.

They say the library board has refused his suggestion that it clearly write what it expects of those who rent space for public meetings.


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