On December 2nd, I posted about budget cuts to California libraries, and how we could speak out against more of them. Last year, Governor Jerry Brown proposed the elimination of all state funding for library programs. He and the Legislature were able to work out a plan in which only 50% of the cuts were made. These cuts were difficult to deal with, but this year will be even tougher.
Since my last post, the threat has materialized. State funding to California Libraries has been cut as of January 1st.
Lake County Libraries' first casualty of these cuts is the book budget--it has been severely reduced, and it still must be divided among the four Lake County branches (Lakeport, Redbud, Middletown and Upperlake). They can hardly afford to buy new books.
Also, our Interlibrary Loan system, which allows us to order books, movies and other materials from other libraries, is no longer being funded by the state. Because these cuts are so new, the library hasn't decided how to handle this yet. One proposed idea is that patrons (we) might have to pay for this previously-free service.
When I find out more news about casualties to our library's services, I'll post them on the blog.
- Since the library can buy few new books, that leaves it to the public to donate their books. Have you noticed the "Recylce Your Books" bins situated around Santa Rosa? That's essentially what we need to do, if you want to help with this crisis. Bring in your books: read, unread, new, old, and especially those you know our library doesn't own a copy of it. Spread the literary love! It's time to lighten the shelves or your personal home library and help our community.
- You can volunteer a few hours a week. I volunteer on Tuesdays. Ask a librarian what days they could use some free help. They might tell you they love you.
- Join the Friends of the Library. This is a group of library lovers that organize events like book sales and donate generously. Find out more and sign up at the library.
- Tell a librarian how much you appreciate them and appreciate their work. <3 Maybe make them a card. And brownies. Whatever :)
Next week I'll write another craft post. Till then, friends. *salute*
Additional reading resources: "Twelve Way to Save Your Library" on Ilovelibraries.org, The Library Journal on the California Library Budget Cuts, & The Library Journal on "The New Normal" for US Libraries.
West London Dweller. "Carnegie Library (2)." Wikimedia Commons. 23 Jan. 2005. 18 March 2013.