Friday, April 29, 2011

State Aid currently 16.2 Million House/Senate Side

State Aid Update as of 4/29/2011 4:00 a.m.

When the House and Senate TED conferees reconvened this evening (Thursday 4/28) the House rejected the Senate offer that included the House accepting a $10 million economic development proposal and went back to their original $17.7 million position for State Aid and $1 million for the MLCs. Both Horner and Gaetz seemed to suggest that our issues will be bumped to the Budget Chairs.
Source: Received via email from Charlie Parker

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Libraries traded for Panhandle jobs money

Published April, 28 2011 Orlando Sentinel
Gaetz, a powerful lawmaker slated to lead the Senate in 2012, proposed a deal Thursday that would preserve $10 million in library funding in exchange for keeping the same amount of money tied to a bill he has pushed, SB 248, designed to help the Panhandle recover from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

State Aid to Libraries over the last 5 Years

State Aid to Libraries in FL has dropped 30% over the last 5 years
2006-07 31.9 Million
2007-08 30.7 Million
2008-09 23.3 Million
2009-10 21.2 Million
2010-11 21.2 Million
2011-12 10.0 Million / 17.7 or 21.2 Million :-)

Articles about Local Library Funding in Florida (Besides State Aid to Libraries)

Budget cuts put libraries in a bind (Miami-Dade)
Published 4/26/2011 Miami Herald
The number of people visiting Miami-Dade libraries increased from 5.9 million people in 2006-07, when the economy was humming, to 8.3 million in 2009-10.

State cuts may trim Treasure Coast libraries' collections, hours
Published 4/19/2011
Libraries are supported by state funds and county property taxes. Martin County uses state money to buy materials, including periodicals, online databases and DVDs, said Judi Snyder, acting director.

Funding cuts for local libraries expected to stun, not kill
Published 4/14/2011
The Sarasota and Manatee public library systems are preparing to absorb a loss in state funding, which in both counties is used to purchase multiple editions of new and popular novels, children's books, reference materials and audio or web-based books and databases.

The High Cost of Cutting Costs (St. Johns County)
Published April 2011 St. Augustine News and Opinion – The Underground
The economic downturn has resulted in increased library traffic throughout Florida. The St. Johns county public library system recorded a 7.1 percent increase in membership. This membership includes students whose public education system in struggling to keep afloat.

Library Board OKs $5.9 Million In Cuts (Jacksonville)
Published 3/31/2011
The board voted 6-0 on a $25.5 million budget that includes a 30 percent cutback in library hours, a reduction of about 100 employees and spending $879,500 less on materials.

Hines Boyd: Libraries are essential service centers

Published 4/27/2011 Tallahassee Democrat
About 43 percent of Jefferson County's $294,000 library budget comes from this state and federal aid. Without it, Jefferson, and many counties like it, would be faced with a drastic reduction in library services at a time when those services are most in demand.

State funding for our libraries has dodged a big bullet in each of the last two legislative sessions as broad public support persuaded legislators to swing their budget axes in other directions. Let's hope this is not the year our libraries face a crippling blow to their critically important services.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

State Aid to Libraries - Final Week Starts Today

Below are two of my friends that are at the Capitol today Wed 4/27. Natalie "The Library Gal" Binder and Jonathan McCaughan

Click image to enlarge

This is the final week starting Wednesday April 27th through next Mon/Tues for the Senate and House to make their decisions on State Aid to Libraries here in FL. Everyone can make a difference - contact your Representatives via phone, email or in person. For the rural counties here in FL the State Aid they receive is necessary for them to provide just your basic services to the public. The session ends May 6th but there is a 72 hour cooling off period for the budget.

Take Care

Monday, April 25, 2011

Public libraries feel strain of budget cuts

Published Apr. 24, 2011 Bradenton Times
They’re the lone source of free computer and Internet access in most communities, allowing the unemployed to search for jobs, learn computer skills and spruce up their resumes. Millions use them to stay in touch with relatives, apply for government services or to seek health information.

Public libraries in their current form didn’t catch on in the U.S. until the 1800s, when free education for children became the norm and rapid immigration drove explosive population growth. Pittsburgh steel magnate Andrew Carnegie bankrolled construction of roughly 1,700 public libraries in the U.S. between 1881 and 1919.

3 in 10 in South Florida don’t have Internet

Published 4/23/2011 Miami Herald
Importance of having Internet Access:
• Distressed Florida homeowners looking for help with their mortgages can apply for the state’s new Hardest Hit Fund only via the Internet.
• Unemployment applications are handled primarily online, though a phone option does exist during specific hours Monday through Thursday.
• Social Security’s yearly estimates for those who have yet to retire will be available only online, a move designed to save $70 million.
• Applications for food assistance, temporary cash assistance, Medicaid and refugee assistance are handled online. Applicants without access can get a printed application — but they must first travel to one of the Department of Children & Families ACCESS Florida community partner offices or customer service centers.
• Appointments for immigration services must be made online.

Friday, April 15, 2011

State budget talks stalled until after Easter

Posted Apr 13, 2011 St. Petersburg Times
Sen. J.D. Alexander, a Lake Wales Republican who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, announced that negotiations would be delayed until the week of April 25, following the Passover and Easter holidays. That would leave two weeks to settle all budget differences before the session's scheduled adjournment May 6.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Library Guy Called into Service

Published 4/13/2011 FACC
The Orlando Sentinel reported Wednesday that libraries say the cuts could reduce library hours or possibly even force some branches to close. "And the sad part of that is the loss of access for people who depend on libraries for Internet access to government services, or to apply for jobs, and all those services that people depend on now that the economy is down,” Faye Roberts, director of the Florida Library Association told the Sentinel. The cut could also mean a loss of federal matching money for technology. Also Wednesday, perhaps not coincidentally, the Sentinel reported that the “library guy,” Paul Clark, is back at the Capitol with his sign urging lawmakers not to cut the library budget.

Library Guy: Location, location, location!

Published April 13th, 2011 Palm Beach Post
Clark was back in town on Wednesday, accompanied by his sons Jacob, 11, and Joseph, 10, who handed out bookmarks to lobbyists and lawmakers trekking along the bridge connecting the Capitol with the Knott Building, prime real estate according to the Clay County systems librarian.

'Library guy' lobbies lawmakers for dollars

Published April 13, 2011 Sun-Sentinel
Paul Clark, dubbed “The Library Guy” by lawmakers last year, is back in Tallahassee this week lobbying lawmakers to approve state funding for public libraries.

‘Library Guy’ books Capitol time

Published 4/13/2011 Orlando Sentinel
Last year, Clark spent two weeks in Tallahassee standing outside the legislative chambers and committee meetings with a laminated sign that said “Save Our Libraries.” At the time, lawmakers were threatening to drastically cut library funding to zero.

This year, a Senate proposal makes an identical threat. The Senate budget includes no fundings for public libraries, which rely on a mix of state and local funds to keep their doors open. A House proposal allocates $17.7 million to libraries.

Legislature would cut – or eliminate – library funding

State funding for the 67-county public library system has gradually fallen over the years. In the 2000-2001 budget, the state gave $33.4 million. Last year, the Legislature also threatened to eliminate money for libraries but came up with funding in the final budget negotiations between the House and Senate.

Legislative leaders expect to begin the process of aligning the House and Senate budgets this week, which will include the library funding issue.
Published April 12, 2011 Sun-Sentinel

Monday, April 11, 2011

The State of America’s Libraries, 2011

See link below
Link (PDF)

Press Coverage for Librarian of the Year in FL

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Librarian of the Year
Neighbor to Neighbor May 2011 pg. 7

Clay's 'library guy' named tops in Florida
The Florida Times-Union 4/21/2011

"Library Guy" Paul Clark Named Librarian of Year
Monticello News 4/15/2011

Library Guy wins third award for advocacy efforts
Clay Today 4/12/2011

FLA Award Winners Announced
NEFLIN Blog 4/11/2011

"The Library Guy" from Clay County named Florida's top librarian
The Florida Times-Union 4/11/2011

Libraries, Librarians and Library Supporters Honored 4/11/2011

Celebrate National Library Week, April 10-16, 2011

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