Monday, May 18, 2009

Library Budget Cut - Again

Pacific Grove's Recommended Budget for FY 2009-2010 has been released. For the third consecutive year, the Library's budget has been substantially reduced.

As summarized on page 89 of the Recommended Budget:
  • FY 2006/07 $1,080,361
  • FY 2007/08 $ 994,976 (Staffing: FTE 15.25)
  • FY 2008/09 $ 696,810 (Staffing: FTE 7.50)
  • FY 2009/10 $ 610,389 (Staffing: FTE 6.50)

Reductions in Library services, caused by these cuts, will include:

  • Operating hours reduced from 31 hours to 20-24 hours per week. (A 22-35 percent reduction.)
  • Library open only four days per week.
  • Elimination of one full-time position.
  • Reduction in part-time staffing, including the elimination of the recently approved Librarian I position.
  • Increased fines for overdue books.
  • Increased fees for Interlibrary Loan.
  • Elimination of one or two storytimes per week.
  • Reduced coverage at the Children's and Adult Reference Desks.
  • Reduced funds for books, magazines, DVDs and CDs. (The Friends of the Library donation will be used for operating costs rather than for new books and materials.)
  • Fewer online databases. (The online World Book Encyclopedia, Oxford English Dictionary, and Litfinder database have already been cut for next year.)
  • Inability to implement objectives outlined in the Library Services Study, (commonly referred to as "The Strategic Plan").

On Wednesday, May 20th, the City Council will hold a public hearing, as well as introduce and hold a first reading of an ordinance to approve the recommended budget for FY 2009/10. This is an opportunity to share your comments, requests, needs, ideas, and insight with your elected representatives. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. We encourage you to be there to support YOUR Library.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As difficult as it is to see the library hours cut further, the discussion at the May 20 City Council meeting that full closure of the library in the next budget year will likely be a consideration is truly dreadful. As author Michael Katakis said at the event last night, when a city is so far gone that it loses its library, it isn't truly a city any more. A library is one of the civic hallmarks that makes a community. I encourage everyone who cares about the library and about the city to call or write each member of the city council to tell them how important the library is and to urge them to keep the library open even at reduced hours. The economy will recover and it will be much easier to build up the library if it still exists than if it has been closed.