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Time for a Library Funding Cuts Update

Gary Price has put together a sad look at library funding from around the country. California, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, New York, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin are all looking at more cuts.
The collection is over at ResourceShelf.com.
We all know about Florida by now, right?

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California Governor Cuts Library Funding

Here\'s a typical story about a rural library that\'s in financial trouble because of state budget cuts. \"Facing severe budget cuts due to the state budget crisis, the local library could see personnel cuts, fewer books on the shelves, the reduction of newspapers and magazines and the reduction of hours. California Governor Gray Davis took $500,000 from the public library fund, as well as taking other funding from the county. All county departments have been asked to cut their budgets by one third, said Pam Heiman, head librarian for the Big Bear Branch Library.
There is an immediate hiring freeze,\" Heiman said. \"We will probably have to close one more day a week.\" The book budget has already been drastically reduced, Heiman said. The budget now allows for the purchase of eight new adult titles per month compared to 24 prior to the budget cuts. These cuts took effect in September. Children\'s and young adult purchases are limited to standing orders.\" Read More...

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Phone fund for schools, libraries riddled with fraud

The Center for Public Integrity has A Look At The E-Rate. They say it's honeycombed with fraud and financial shenanigans, but the government officials in charge say they don’t have the resources to fix it.

“The program has allowed schools and libraries to do things they would have never been able to do any other way,” says Winston E. Himsworth, president of E-Rate Central, a consulting firm used by the New York State education system to prepare and process E-Rate applications. “Like most people close to the program, I hope there are more prosecutions coming. The program doesn’t need beneficiaries or service providers like that.”

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Executives Charged with eRate Fraud

This one comes by way of eSchool News...\"Federal authorities on Dec. 18 charged the owner of Connect2 Internet Networks Inc., a New York-based internet services company, and three employees with allegedly defrauding the eRate of millions of dollars.
The case marks the first time criminal charges have been filed against anyone for abusing the program.\" Read More... [registration required]
The original story is Here.

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Just when they\'re needed most, libraries forced to cut back

Bad news from California, North Carolina, Oklahoma and from Virginia where State-funded museums, libraries and historical attractions were among the biggest losers in the sweeping cuts ordered this year by the state governments.
Not to worry, Bush plans to boost education spending. The planned spending boosts, he said, were a reflection of educational priorities in last year\'s No Child Left Behind Act.

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Libraries Feeling Budget Pinch

Here\'s an Associated Press story that\'s making the rounds on budget troubles we are facing across the country. It\'s way too short, but they do say Librarians say one of the most disturbing consequences of the budget cuts is that they\'re coming at a time when more people need libraries to help them find work. They also add The American Library Association says funding problems stem from a lack of political clout. The group plans to launch a campaign to raise funds and awareness next month.
Here\'s Another with a few more details, and a good quote from Mitch:

``As the economic times get worse, library use has gone up,\'\' said Maurice J. Freedman, president of the American Library Association. ``The injustice of it is, here we are providing more service with the same staff, and we\'re asked to cut our budgets.\'\'

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Public Library of Science Grabs 9 Million

Jen Young noticed This Story over at The Chronicle of Higher Education.
They say Public Library of Science received a $9-million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to help pay for a journal project.
The journals, to be titled Public Library of Science Biology and Public Library of Science Medicine, are expected to start publication during the last half of 2003.

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Boston U. refunds millions to angry donor

Michael Lambert, Charley Hivey, Bob Cox, and others sent over This CNN Story that follows up on that 3 million gift from a philanthropist who demanded his money back and threatened to sue from BU.Boston University will keep the estimated $1.2 million in interest earned during the years the money sat unused, but will donate the rest to Cape Cod Hospital and public television station WGBH-TV.

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FCC Decision to Result in Higher Cell Phone Bills

This one comes by way of the Columbus Dispatch. It talks about how the FCC\'s new way of charging phone companies for E-rate is going to mean higher cell phone bills for consumers. The cost is going up, but are the benefits to libraries and the poor also going up? In light of recent \"investigations,\" one can\'t help but wonder. Read More... [may require free log-in]

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$3 Million Donation Is 'Lost'

Yahoo News Is Reporting on a $3 million donation that has been "lost."Grocery entrepreneur David Mugar donated $3 Million to Boston University to renovate The Mugar Library, he said he had been told the money was "lost" through poor accounting and could not be identified among university funds.
"BU has been very apologetic about losing my money, but regardless, I want my money back," Mugar said in Wednesday's editions of The Boston Globe.

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