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Budget Watchdogs Warn of Worsening Deficit, Explore Strategies to Cut
The Washington County Public Library thanks all who voted for the library system's 1-mill, five-year levy on the Nov. 2 ballot. By voting yes, voters affirmed the importance of their libraries' services to themselves and to their communities.
As a lifelong resident of Washington County, I had faith in the citizens of our county; but I certainly did not take anything for granted during this election since library services were at stake. We recruited some of the county's outstanding citizens to lead our levy effort: Rick Peoples, Dave Combs, and Emerson Shimp. I would like to send special thanks as well to all our supporters, volunteers, library trustees, Friends of the Library groups, staff, and loyal patrons who together assured our levy's success. The library levy was vital to help maintain library operations. Everyone benefits.
Justin J. Mayo, librarian
Washington County Public Library
The future of the Troy Public Library is "as clear as mud," the city's lawyer said Wednesday, after voters defeated four millage proposals designed to create and fund an independent library board.
And in Bloomfield Hills, voters sent a resounding "no" on Tuesday to a six-year, 0.617-mill library levy, with 61% of voters shooting down the measure, 1,342-842. Supporters sought to resume a lending contract with Bloomfield Township's library or strike up a new deal with the library in Birmingham.
The Troy measure is likely to become a topic of Monday's City Council meeting, where Mayor Louise Schilling is expected to bring up the possible censure of Councilman Martin Howrylak over his letter advocating the measures' defeat.
Troy's Proposal 1, the 10-year, 0.9885-millage, failed by 689 votes, 15,590-14,901, with 51% voting against it. The three other millage proposals failed by more than 80% of the vote each.
The library is scheduled to close July 1, after the City Council slashed funding and library hours this year and all funding by June 30.
Read more: Detroit Free Press.
Shelley Terry, writing in The Star Beacon, reported that Ashtabula County District Library and Henderson Memorial Public Library both lost their levy campaigns. It is expected that the Ashtabula County District Library, which has a service district covering most but not all of Ashtabula County, will respond with further cuts. Henderson Memorial Public Library, which has a service district including the Township of Jefferson and Village of Jefferson in Ashtabula County, will not be hiring a children's librarian due to the loss.
If your library had an issue on the ballot Tuesday, how did it fare?
Like many technologists, I may have had some vague notion that librarians had something to contribute to discussions about information and metadata and standards and access, but my concept of what librarians did and what they knew probably had more to do with stereotypes and anecdote than on an understanding of reality. Which is a shame. Although in the last few years I think we’ve done a really good job of making clearer connections between libraries and technology, I don’t think anyone is surprised when librarians are omitted from discussions about and between prominent technologists, such as the one facilitated by the Setup. (Note: by “librarians” I mean anyone who works in, with, or for libraries. Hat tip to Eli Neiburger for saying what I’d been thinking, only less clearly, for some time before he said those words out loud.)
Dilman Doland, who taught psychology at Smith for 30 years, died on Sept. 8 of last year at the age of 88, leaving an estate in excess of $10 million. Doland, who had no children of his own, willed much of that to his surviving brothers and their children, but set a generous amount aside for some of his favorite institutions, including Smith.
Kathleen Doland worked as a reference librarian at Forbes from 1956-1962 and her husband remembered the library in his will, bequeathing it $1 million as well. Director Janet Moulding said Doland had already established a reference room in her wife’s memory some years ago. By the terms of the will, the gift must be put into a trust and its interest used only for the reference department. Moulding said the library’s trustees have appointed a committee to perform a needs assessment and determine how much interest they can expect to realize on an annual basis.
Doland received the Trustees’ Award in 1999, Moulding said and was a frequent patron, often stopping by her office to say hello. Moulding said she was astounded by the gift.
Armed with donation pledges, the Whitefish (MT) library is officially severing its ties with the Flathead County Library System.
On Oct. 18, the Whitefish City Council voted to notify the Flathead County Library Board of Trustees that it intends to terminate its interlocal agreement and establish a separate tax-supported city library. Termination will be effective July 1, 2011.
The decision came on the heels of a final opinion from the state attorney general’s office stating that Whitefish can legally create an independent library and collect a mill levy to fund it. The city will levy 5.95 mills, replacing the county levy for library services.
In addition, Whitefish resident Jake Heckathorn has offered $100,000 to help establish a separate library and indicated that he knows of another person willing to donate $100,000. The Whitefish Library Association has also pledged to contribute funds.
The split comes after more than a year of publicized disagreements between Flathead County library officials and advocates of an autonomous Whitefish library.
Does your library have a levy coming to a vote on November 2nd? Let us know in the comments so that we might spread word.
...says Jason Sundberg in an op-ed in the Seattle Times.
"MY family lives in New Holly, a mixed-income Seattle Housing Authority Neighborhood in Southeast Seattle. Despite lower income levels than many affluent parts of the city, in one important way, it is the richest neighborhood in Seattle because of its diversity.
Mayor Mike McGinn, however, has proposed budget cuts that would slash all on-site librarian services at the New Holly library and seven other library locations, carving the very heart out of southeast Seattle and other parts of the city. Seattle's status as most educated city in the United States is intrinsic to our identity, but we cannot hope to retain that badge of honor if we remove from our midst the most democratic and foundational resource for adults and children to educate themselves.
The Seattle City Council must reject cutting librarian services at these vital libraries and preserve this invaluable resource as ongoing equity for neighborhoods in dire need of support.
My family carpools with a Somali family to a local preschool. Faduma, the mom, works at home and her husband drives a taxi 70 hours each week. They moved to New Holly because the city designed our neighborhood for success — and Faduma's family is succeeding! One of their school-aged children transferred to a Seattle Public Spectrum school with programming for gifted children. -- Read More
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The city of Providence has filed a lawsuit against the Providence Public Library charging the nonprofit with not complying with the lease agreement and not making needed repairs.
The suit filed this week lists more than a dozen problems at the branches, including leaky roofs, poor drainage, electric problems and faulty ventilation.
Seven of the nine libraries are still owned by the Providence Public Library, the nonprofit that operated the entire city library system until July 2009, when the city transferred its $3.5 million library allocation to the Providence Community Library.
The PPL, which operates the downtown Central Library, agreed to lease its branch buildings to the city for $1 a year.
The legal action comes as PCL has been putting more pressure on PPL to resolve the dispute over the buildings.