Just about a month ago, New Jersey Governor Christie proposed his version of the FY2011 budget. In addressing a $10 billion budget gap, he sought to make dramatic cuts to state spending. As part of this self-proclaimed new day of fiscal responsibility, he made a 74% cut to state library spending. Cut is a bit of a misnomer for this action; the better term I have heard used is a decapitation.
This was at the top of an email from NJLA I got last week.
TO: NJ LISTSERV MEMBERS
FROM: PAT Tumulty, Executive Director
DATE: March 18, 2010
1. NJLA ADVOCACY RESPONSE
Make no mistake, if the current proposals affecting state and local library funding pass, NJ libraries will have to close their doors.
Gov. Christie’s budget calls for a 74% decrease in funding for statewide library services. This cut includes the elimination of all statewide library programs and services. What does this mean to NJ residents?
250 of the state's 302 libraries will lose access to the Internet on July 1st
130 libraries will lose email service July 1st
124 libraries will lose their websites or access to them July 1st
Statewide interlibrary loan and delivery of library materials will cease on July 1st
The Talking Book and Braille Center (known as the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped) will close on July 1st
NJ resident’s access to electronic databases such as RefUSA and EBSCO will cease on July 1st
Group contracts which bring down the cost of other electronic resources purchased by libraries will cease on July 1st
In addition, libraries will lose $3 million in state aid
Budget cuts seem the order of the day, this article in the Thursday edition of the Columbia Spectator gives librarians another grim look of what is ahead. Unfortunately, with state budgets still taking losses it looks like we could have to get used to more cutbacks in services, materials and staff. http://www.columbiaspectator.com/2010/02/24/recession-forces-new-york-c…