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A suprisingly detailed article on the struggle to fund Pittsburgh\'s apparently much-loved bookmobiles, from a new favorite, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
When Rosemary Mahalchak began searching for a videotape of a film called \"Breathing Lessons,\" she expected to find it rather easily because it was made recently, had well-known stars and was filmed, in part, around Pittsburgh.
But after a five-month search through bookstores, libraries and video stores, Mahalchak gave up hope of finding the 1994 made-for-TV movie . . . Then, just as she does one Tuesday each month, Mahalchak walked over to the Bookmobile when it stopped at the Chartiers Senior Resource Center in Carnegie, a few blocks from her home.
\"When I saw it here, I almost fell on the floor,\" said Mahalchak, a youthful 77-year-old with a flair for the dramatic who was at the Bookmobile last week returning the tape. . .
Mahalchak, though, and other Bookmobile patrons now are worried that with Allegheny County eliminating its funding for the five mobile libraries . . .
A recent audit of the Ann Arbor (MI) District Library resulted in the discovery of a $3.3 million surplus. Original calculations had projected only about $1 million in surplus money. The staff at the library has gone without a cost-of-living pay increase since 1996. more... from Michigan Live.
Library Journal is reporting that New York City libraries are facing budget cuts:
Along with nearly all other city agencies, New York City libraries are facing a 15 percent spending cut in the wake of the World Trade Center attack, which may cost the city $1 billion in lost revenue. Agencies \"can’t spend all the money they thought they could spend,\" said Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, noting that the city had lost significant revenue from hotel, restaurant, and retail sales taxes.
From The Times:
Fierce controversy has erupted over proposals to create a new £1,220,000 visitor facility in Oxford’s famous Bodleian Library. The proposals involve cutting a new entrance through the masonry of the Tower of the Five Orders of Architecture, introducing a permanent exhibition display with liquid crystal screens beneath the exquisite fan vault of the 15th-century Divinity School, and inserting barriers across the vista through the arch of Nicholas Hawksmoor’s Clarendon Building and the two arches of the Bodleian quadrangle to the great rotunda of James Gibbs’s Radclifffe Camera . . .
As long as there are libraries, there will be overdue books.
The Muscle Shoals Library District in Alabama has accumulated nearly $20K in late fees this year. That\'s more than some libraries have in their entire book budget. I like the statement in the article about patrons setting their own due dates. I realize this might not be big news to everyone, but sheesh, my first professional library job only paid that much! more... from the Times Daily.
From the Ann Arbor News, library staff picketed all day
\"The library workers, represented by the Ann Arbor Education
Association and the Michigan Education Association, dispute the
library management\'s contention that librarians are overpaid when
compared to other libraries in the market.\"
John W. Berry, President, The American Library Association
[2001-02, writes: \"The Library Services and Technology Act, LSTA, the only federal legislation that funds libraries exclusively, needs to be reauthorized by Congress before September 30, 2002. The American Library Association (ALA) is working with many other library groups to assure that LSTA continues to provide federal dollars to serve as a catalyst for change in libraries nationwide.
The coalition is proposing minor changes that will improve library services while creating a sound and effective legislative strategy to encourage Congress to approve reauthorization as quickly as possible. Your assistance in helping us achieve these goals is both critical and greatly appreciated.\"
More... -- Read More
Jacksonville Civil Service Board approves pay hike for librarians and other staff. Pay raises range from an additional 25 cents and hour to $2.12 more an hour. Library pay rate hikes were apparently approved when other area library pay rates were lower and Jacksonville didn\'t provide cost-of-living increases for other city employees for 2002. The Mayor however approved saying that, \"the library is long overdue.\" (An unintentional pun?) From the Anniston Star
Sunspot.net has a Sad Story on a decision to spend $250,000 to build a family sports complex on in Baltimore, MD. The sports complex will be located three blocks from the old Pimlico branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. That library branch was shut down just weeks ago. The city said it did not have the $290,000 budgeted to keep it open.
\"A library branch that was a community bulwark for 40 years is shut down for lack of money; and, just three blocks away, similar money is approved for a sports center to keep kids\' bodies occupied while their minds are regarded as afterthoughts.\"
If a West Virginia legislator has his way, libraries in that state will soon be reaping the rewards of a lottery. According to the lawmaker, \"It\'s the wave of the future in funding public projects.\" The scratch-off tickets would fund libraries in the same manner they are used in other states to pay for services for senior citizens, veterans and other human services programs. more... from The Daily News.