ALL FL State Aid Funding For Public Libraries To Be Eliminated

On March 10, appropriations committees in the Florida House and Senate adopted positions eliminating all funding for Florida’s State Aid to Public Libraries program. This devastating action will result in some Florida library branches closing and will seriously cripple libraries’ ability to serve Floridians. Libraries have already taken their share of local and state budget cuts. This will be especially damaging to libraries in Florida’s rural communities, as these libraries rely heavily on provisions in the program that help communities with lower tax bases.

ps - to commentators: would some of you jokers please add some jokes to our Librarian Joke Contest? thanks~


This is just nuts! Libraries have stepped in and stepped up during these bad economic times to help people look for jobs, learn computer skills, help their kids with homework, entertain their kids and let them take entertainment home (movies, books, CDs) all for free!

Now is a time to increase library funding, not decrease it.

This is like cutting off funding to hospitals during a medical crisis!

Oh please. Libraries are not like hospitals. Letting people borrow movies is not the same as needed medical care.

And the books and DVDs all for free is also an irratating point. What magic source gives your library free DVDs? Oh you pay for them with tax dollars? Guess they are not free then.

In a down economy the library has to take some hits just like everyone else. much do you really think you pay in tax dollars to the library? In most cases, it's little more than the cost of a single market value hardcover book. If you can't see the value in having access to thousands movies, cds, and databases, as well as language learning classes, storytimes, computer access, ESL teachers and book clubs for $40, then I'm not sure that you understand the value of money.

And this is more than "just some hit." You think that libraries haven't had their county budgets slashed? Services discontinued? Sweeping layoffs? You'd be wrong. Libraries are already struggling on the county level. Cutting all state funding is a futher slap in the face to those who value the literacy of their communities.

Libraries are trusted institutions because they offer free information to all. Not everyone is wealthy enough to have the internet at home. In hard times, the libraries services are needed more than ever by job seekers. When the economy dives, library usage and circulation INCREASES, not decreases. I'm so sick of priviledged jerks with their iPhones and Kindles complaining about how libraries are useless because they're too caught up in their own lives to realize how necessary these services are to people who aren't well off.

well said

You sir, are an idot.

Somehow I don't think he's going to be offended by being called an "idot"... ;)


Name call!

DVDS is not all the public libraries provide.People come to the public library when all else is depleated.Maybe you should take a walk through one an see for yourself before you go spouting off about not needing it.Lets take away a lil more of the education process of our children an grandchildren to come,yeah thats really healthy for our youth of America. I have so many points to list but really dont have the time or enegery for such ignorance. not what they're proposing. They're completely cutting out all state funding for public libraries.

Even in times of Depression and deep recession, my parents generation insisted on seeing that their children were properly educated and had access to the kind of knowledge that will last them a lifetime. We can't leave our children and their children to fend for themselves.

Too many Republicans in charge of FL. Keep up the golf courses & swim clubs, and to hell with the less advantaged (immigrants, farm workers, rural poor).

The state aid is a supplement. Doing some looking I found that counties were paying around $20 per person for library services. The state was adding $1 to this. The state budget for aid was $20 million and the population of Florida is 18 million. The libraries are county institutions and need to be funded by the counties.

State Aid to Libraries consists of two types of funding. Operating grants are based on population, and in many cases you are exactly right, they are simply a supplement.

But the other type of State Aid is called Equalization. These go to more rural counties with less infrastructure. Look at the numbers.$21253978.pdf

Large Counties like Miami-Dade or Hillsborough do not receives a penny in those funds. But Smaller counties like Baker, Calhoun, DeSoto, Dixie, etc. receive 10x-20x more funding through Equalization. Eliminate that and those counties, already struggling with property tax losses from the real estate crunch, just aren't going to be able to make up the difference. That is going to mean either closing the libraries or just having volunteers open them up for a couple of hours a week and dust off the aging collection.

And that isn't doesn't even address the whole e-government issue. The State has deliberately cut back on service locations and moved more and more things to the Internet. For people without access otherwise, the libraries are the only source of Internet Access they have. This isn't just about cutting a few dollars in spending in the state budget - it is creating a permanent Digital divide between residents of more affluent and less-financially able counties.

Of course it is all the fault of the Republicans. Couldn't be the fault of the Democrats for spending like drunken sailors and having nothing for a rainy day. Then when a recession comes around the state was already tapped out.

In regards to golf courses and swim clubs. I would be glad to see the golf courses gotten rid of privatized but in regards to pools don't you think poor kids like to swim as much as rich kids? Pools keep kids off the streets an out of trouble. The Republicans know this and that is why they fund the pools.

Last time I checked the economy was tanking because of tax cuts for the rich and deregulation of our finacial institutions. These are conservative values....sheesh, you are so in need of a library.

>>Last time I checked the economy was tanking because of tax cuts for the rich and deregulation of our finacial institutions.

Does there need to be some more oversight of financial institutions? Sure. Do some research and you will see that both parties in Congress were pulling out the safeties on this issue.

Tax cuts for the rich did not cause any of our current economic problems. Explain what was cut and what problem it caused.

Here's the theory behind tax cuts; if we give rich people more money, then they will invest in the economy and create jobs. And these workers will pay taxes and we all profit.
Great theory.
Here's reality.
Tax cuts cost 1 trillion dollars, by removing that amount of revenue from our taxes. That's the government saying we will spend more, at the same time take in less revenue, but the rich people will spend this money and the economy will boom.
Jobs were not created. Jobs were lost. Rich people kept their money or invested it, lost it, and asked the taxpayer to please bail them out.
That's why tax cuts hurt the economy.
Look at income tax as the governments paycheck, and they volunteered to cut their pay, and instead of reducing spending to offset the loss in income, they spent like drunken sailors.
Deficit is the result.

just not in the US, investments are all overseas.

Wrong. The cut in tax RATES resulted in MORE revenue, not less. Your claims of "1 trillion" lost are just lies.

If I remember correctly, the Bush-Gore debate with what to do with a surplus was that Bush wanted to give tax cuts (with a large percentage going to the upper eschelon) and Gore wanting to put it into a lockbox for a rainy day. Not to mention the conservatives have spent billions on a war on terror, deregulated financial institutions that led to practices that caused the mortgage crash.

Both sides have their faults but you clearly are someone that prescribes to the Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin line of thinking. That what liberals do is wrong and what conservatives do is right even if they do the same thing.


I'm going to assume you're a stereotypical American. And because you're a stereotypical American, I will explain why the last three sentences of your post were the most ridiculous thing I've ever read; I will try to do this in a way that you might understand.

Number of movies where reading helps kids get off the street: 50+
Number of movies where being able to join a swim club helps kids get off the street: 1? Perhaps a sequel?

Also, the OP mentioned "swim clubs", which are not the same as "public pools" which is apparently what you're thinking. "Swim clubs" are essentially a country club that focuses solely on teaching children how to swim. I can't imagine swim clubs are doing much to curb unnecessary violence by keeping upper-middle class children off the streets. Whereas libraries, which are available to everyone regardless of income and ability to purchase memberships are most likely doing a great deal more.

tl;dr: Your argument sucks, but you could be a millionaire if you wrote a movie about a swim club getting under-privileged youths off the street.

The accusation was that Republicans were keeping golf courses and swim clubs open. If these are not paid for with tax dollars and are just rich private institutions I do not care about them.

I concede the point. ^_^

Didnt a swim club actually boot the minority kids out onto the street some months back...

Its not like Floridians read anyway...

Its not like Floridians read anyway...

Florida - America's poorly educated wang.

Pity we don't know the details of the fall of ancient empires. It would be interesting to see if Libraries were the first to go.

There is an easy way to fix this:
Only keep the one book that matters: The Holy Bible
Everything you need to ever read is right there in one volume.

is there a proverb about finding and killing you?

Ah.. So true and why would anyone ever want to learn about those pagans anyway. One book libraries might just be the American way. Before the Fall that is.

that and PC for Dummies for that is the only explanation I have to your ability to operate the one you are sitting in front of.

Internet is becoming your source for information. Maybe when i was young in grade school i NEEDED to go to a library to get information. But obviously that's not the case anymore. Most the kids are on the PC looking at facebook all the time. Might as well teaching them how to access ebooks. Libraries are a old tech that got replaced. Thats it.

...where do poor people go to use this awesome "internet" when libraries are shut down? Your house? Because that can be arranged.

You win. Seriously. If every jackass who says "The information is on the internet so libraries are obsolete" had to let at least 10 people who can't afford internet access use theirs as a condition for being connected to the internet we would all go back to funding libraries as the only source of information.

When the Library of Alexandria "closed" it set humanity back a thousand years!
Good idea, lets try it again.

The Library of Alexandria did not close. It burnt to the ground. And why did it burn to the ground. Because the budget for the local Fire Department was slashed by 80%. See, when you slash a budget in one area, it will have a negative effect in another area. Point: Slashing the budget for a library will have a negative effect down the road. Short sighted fools only think in terms of today, or the next election, or the next quarterly stock report....

So...the Library at Alexandria was a place where Alexandria's homeless populations hung around all day, smelling of urine and alcohol? Was it also a place where parents dump off their children as a place of free daycare?

The Internet has changed how information is gathered, stored and supplied. Sadly, libraries are expensive to maintain, and serve very little purpose to their local communities, other than what I said in the first paragraph. They have become "fat" on the budget of a state that is facing some SEVERE budget shortfalls.

How often does the average taxpayer actually use a library? Or do they even know where their local library is located?

I am in my local library twice a week borrowing books. In between my 8 hour job, I read two books yesterday. Maybe some people are just a little too slow to handle information services at that speed.

Do comic books count?
What is your job, anyway? Book editor?

You sir,are an idiot. I know many many many people that can read more than that in a day, - they hold reading as a VALUE. To those of you who do not seem to care about this, I can understand. But most of my local population here, and I live in a suburb of ORLANDO, FL (so not some backwater town - though I suppose that can be argued :-) ), visit the library regularly. I myself am there many days a week (and yes, I have a full time job and go to school). I pay taxes, my tax money goes to fund public services, such as the library. So why would I go to a store like Barnes and Noble and pay AGAIN for something I've already paid for - I go to the library where there is a wealth of knowledge waiting to be accessed. I can't go online and read the books I want - not without PAYING for another service - so the :use the internet, libraries are obsolete" argument is invalid and poorly though out. If you had any fiscal sense at all, you would realize this, but instead we live in a wasteful society.

Using "the average taxpayer's" behavior as proof libraries are unnecessary is pure genius. How many taxpayers know a great many critical things, like the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, the name of their local government representative. How many know what's in the state budget? How many know how much Federal money gets spent on what? Strangely, all this information can be found in your local library AND there will be someone to assist your finding it.

huh, If I dont' know it and use it, I don't need it and that include that Constitution thing you keep talking about. To think they used paper to write that on, you know how expensive paper was back then? Seems like a waste to me.

There is no where on earth where libraries have grown "fat" on a state budget. Definitely not the libraries in Florida, which are already underfunded and ignored compared to library systems in other states.

If you are concerned that libraries are only a place for the homeless and daycare crowd, maybe you should do some thing to channel some of that "fat" you seem to be concerned about into programs that would serve the homeless and those in need of daycare. After all, the majority of the reason that they are in the library is because of cuts to THOSE programs. Or do you think that there's too much funding there? Maybe we'll just bus them to your neighborhood and let them take residence on your lawn. The kids would enjoy having the space to run around in. They can borrow your computer so they can do their homework and chat with their friends and you can serve them cookies.

One: Democrats spending "like drunken sailors." How long has it been since Florida had a Democratic governor? Democrat-controlled house and senate? I'm just asking because I'd like to make sure I have my own facts straight on the different parties' fiscal policies.

Two: "Internet is becoming your source for information." This assumes a family has enough money to purchase a PC and pay for internet service on a monthly basis. It also assumes parents are able to teach their children how to effectively use the Internet for information search and retrieval. In addition to hard-copy books, movies, and magazines, libraries also house newspaper and magazine archives, computers, volunteers and Librarians, many of whom are trained to teach others how to gather and interpret information. For example, a librarian might be able to point out your assumption based on your own experience is vulnerable to being a false corollary. Notably, just because it's true for you doesn't mean it's true for everyone.

Libraries also have places where kids can go to enjoy a safe, quiet environment. There they can read books, use educational software or play with other kids in a place that has a certain set of unwritten rules and assumed civility. Yes, kids swim, but the environment at a public pool is very different than in a library.

Greg Turner

Greg, good points. Following the logic of the original poster, local baseball fields were places where kids could go to play ball. But now they have video games, and can play games in the comfort of their homes. Public schools have football stadiums, but now we have Madden football. We don't need to go to the stadium, we can sit at home and play football. Let's sell off all the public parks. Sit home on the internet, or play video games. It's so much more convenient and safer.

Agreed and excellent points. One thing I've always found about the Internet; no matter what you believe (Flat Earth, 9/11 theories, HAARP caused the Haiti earthquake) you can find a site that "proves" that you were correct.

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Librarians Everywhere

if only they taught research methods in High School...