Libraries are busier than ever during this recession and more access to libraries — not less — is needed.
• Last year, when circulation was up 9 percent and library visitors were up 11 percent, the state’s public library subsidy was cut 21percent;
• Last year, when in-library computer use was up 19 percent, the state’s Library Access funding (for electronic resources and shared services) was slashed 73 percent;
• Last year, when hits on library Web sites jumped 48 percent, the state’s funding for all library programs dropped 28 percent.
Why are we cutting libraries at precisely the time when libraries are most needed?
And who’s using libraries? Parents with pre-school children; people searching for work and applying online;
K-12 students; those who must file online for Social Security, veterans’ benefits or unemployment compensation; seniors with health concerns; parents in the “Sandwich Generation” dealing with kids and aging parents; and struggling families without an Internet connection at home.
I understand that times are tough, which is precisely why libraries are one of the best investments you can make for me and for all taxpayers.
For the 2010-11 state budget, I urge you to support these goals to restore access to much-needed library services for your constituents:
M. Carol Adler