Budget cuts put libraries in a bind

Another day, another Story about budget cuts. This one, however, is a bit different, it’s from Asahi Shimbun – Tokyo,Japan. Slimmer budgets have taken a toll on prefectural and municipal libraries, which are already struggling to upgrade equipment and meet the diversifying demands of users.

The total budget of the three prefectural libraries for fiscal 2005 was about 150 million yen, a 3.6-percent decline from the previous year.

Stuck with tight budget, the libraries, located in Urawa, Kumagaya and Kuki, can spend only about 82 million yen on new books, down 5 percent from the previous year.

In fiscal 2004, the three libraries could buy only about 18,000 new books in total, a big drop from the roughly 100,000 bought in 1980, when there were four prefectural libraries.