Saving Library Funding in the 2012 Budget
4/27/2012 Governor Brown’s 2012-2013 budget does not include funding for public libraries, and we are asking all library lovers to write letters in support of restoring the $15.2 million in library funds to the state budget.
From the California Library Association:
$15.2 million will not only protect the integrity of the three programs in jeopardy – the California Library Services Act, the state literacy program, and the Public Library Foundation, but it will also allow the State Library to draw down millions of dollars in federal funding to support programs such as the Braille and Talking Books program…If you have never written a letter to the legislature, now is the time!
You can find useful information such as a sample letter and talking points on the CLA website here.
You can also read the rest of the CLA’s call to action and find out who to write to and where to send your letters to here.
Here is an example of a letter, which incorporates those talking points, written to Senator Carol Liu, Chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance. Feel free to use this as a template in your letter(s) or even consider giving your state senator and/or assemblyman a call to let them know how you feel about this issue. Thanks!
April 18, 2012
Senator Carol Liu, Chair
Senate Budget Subcommittee Number 1 on Education Finance
State Capitol, Room 5061
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Dear Senator Liu,
I am writing to ask you to reject Governor Brown’s recommendation to eliminate State funding for public libraries.
In FY 10/11, public library funding by the state was $30.4 million. In FY 11/12, the Governor recommended no funding, but the legislature restored funding to $15.2 million but it was subject to the budget trigger which then resulted in eliminating all funding for public libraries this fiscal year.
Please restore $8.5 million to the California Library Services Act, $3.7 million to California Library Literacy and English Acquisition Services, and $3 million to the Public Library Foundation, which provides per capita support to libraries for book purchases, children’s programs and other core library services.
These are challenging times; everything is being cut, but it is critical that some funding be restored to these valuable library programs.
The California Library Services Act allows local library jurisdictions to cooperate in a meaningful way throughout California, in offering library services to State residents who live outside their local jurisdictions. For a minimal amount of funding, anyone who lives in California has been able to borrow materials from any public library in the State, with few exceptions. Such a service would not be a good candidate for local funding, and it goes a long way to providing equity of access to information for all California residents.
It is critical to maintain some funding for public libraries because California receives a significant amount of federal funding, as a match to our own state funding. California will lose all of its federal funding for libraries, approximately $16 million, if state library funding is eliminated. This double whammy will severely impact libraries.
Finally, I would urge you to reject the elimination of California’s support for literacy services. This will have far-reaching implications for Californians who are least able to advocate for themselves—namely, those adults without basic reading and writing skills. More than 3000 people are now on waiting lists and programs have had to reduce their capacity without any state support this year.
Please send a strong message to the Governor, that his proposal to eliminate all state funding for public libraries is a false saving that we just can’t afford when now, more than ever, we need an informed, literate and educated citizenry.