Money Issues

Three Dollars a Month Is...Too Much

It's the classic story...the community wants the library and all it has to offer, but it doesn't want to pay .

When a technology lab bus from the OH state library system parked itself at the Amherst Public Library for a week to offer a variety of computer classes, library officials knew they had struck the right nerve.

“We had over 20 classes and they all had waiting lists,” library director Robin Woods said. “We had over 250 people taking classes in Excel, Facebook for adults, genealogy and resume-writing.”

Since the bus visit was a response to community surveys and feedback that told library officials that residents wanted this kind of service and others, Tuesday’s rejection of an $11 million bond issue to finance a 24,000-square-foot addition to the library is more than a bit puzzling.

The 1.17-mill, 28-year issue, which would have cost $3 a month for owners of homes valued at $100,000, was defeated by 933 to 809, according to unofficial election results. Chronicle Telegram.

Woman's stock donation to library grows

Woman's stock donation to library grows
A donation of stock shares to the Loveland Public Library has now grown large enough to build the library's poetry section and start on an expansion.

Lula Colwell donated 3,200 shares of Proctor & Gamble stock worth less than $9 each in the late 1980s.

13 Ways (and 147 Tools) to Help Your Library Save Money on Technology

13 Ways (and 147 Tools) to Help Your Library Save Money on Technology
This list has come out of a few different presentations I’ve given for public libraries recently, from Hawaii to Iowa. Take a look, see what you want to try, and let me know how it works. The list is not exhaustive, so I invite all of you to comment on this post and add your own favorite free web tools, software, and open source awesomeness.

Lax About Collections? State Controller Might Call on You

...as was the case with the Niagara Falls (NY) Public Library.

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's latest audit questions practices at the Niagara Falls Public Library. The audit says the board failed to provide proper stewardship of library operations, set an example to staff, or fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities. That includes auditing and approving claims before payment.

The report says library management agreed with the comptroller's recommendations and are planning to make changes. Additionally, they have hired a collections agency to try to get recover lost income.

More from WGRZ and The Niagara Gazette.

Bye Bye Bookstore and Bye Bye Bookstore Cat

We are all suffering from the closing of independent bookstores, but Linda the bookstore cat is going to have a particularly hard time of it when NYC indie Skyline Books closes later this month.

Here's the story, from Gothamist.

Salinas cuts pit library against paramedics

Salinas cuts pit library against paramedics
Which is worse: for Salinas libraries to cut back from a seven-day to a six-day schedule, or for the city to eliminate its paramedic program and rely on the county for emergency medical response?

Budget Shortfall Places Ohio Libraries In Dangerous Position Yet Again

This morning's edition of The Star Beacon carries articles in its print edition only discussing the impending budget shortfall in Ohio. Governor Ted Strickland previously attempt to count as expected revenue nearly one billion dollars from the installation of "video slot terminals" at Ohio's seven horse racetracks. The machine installation plan was halted due to a successful referendum petition that put a vote on whether to proceed with the installation at a point well past the halfway point of the budget biennium.

The articles in The Star Beacon note that right now everything in the state could potentially be cut and that the Governor is even willing to risk draconian financial penalties from the United States Government by slashing education funding to where the "maintenance of effort" requirements in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 are violated. The practical effect of that would be to cut off all federal funds for that particular funding area for an 18 month period. For states not wanting to violate "maintenance of effort" requirements imposed by the stimulus act, the only practical areas left untouched by that act and subject to possible cuts include mental health services, law enforcement & prison operations, libraries, business development, and public parks.

Other links:
Update from the Save Ohio Libraries team
Warnings mount as budget clock ticks
Don't call him Scrooge: Gov. threatens special session
Strickland: School cuts only option to fill budget hole
Our Opinion: Harris needs to back down on budget
Strickland hints at special session

Philadelphia Libraries Hit by Random Closings

LAST MONDAY, there was one. On Tuesday, there were five. And Thursday, there were six "unscheduled closings" of libraries in Philadelphia.

On any given day this year, one or more branches of the 54-branch Free Library of Philadelphia have been closed unexpectedly due to staff shortages.

The daily closings have increased significantly since September, ranging from four to seven branches on most days. Ten branches closed or reduced their hours unexpectedly Dec. 3, for example.

"The library is critically short-staffed," said Amy Dougherty, director of the Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia, who has been tracking the unscheduled closings. "Librarians [are] completely stressed out. They wake up not knowing what branches they're going to that day."
Story from Philadelphia Daily News.

The Future Of Book Pricing

Views on Futurebook Pricing

"Pricing has consequences; on relationships within channels and with authors, trading terms, consumer perceptions and much more. We once had a relatively simple structure, but we now have a complex one. There are now many new players who have both deep pockets and significant clout. The power shift is moving downstream from a publisher centric to a consumer centric market. Retail power is a consequence and is real today and can’t be put back on the box by removing RRP. "

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