Posted tagged ‘budget cuts’

SOL: Aside

March 26, 2009

I’ve spent an awful lot of time talking about budget cuts at libraries, so here’s one for a change of pace.  Yesterday the ALA announced a $1.6 million shortfall, $500,000 of which must be cut this fiscal year.

SOL: Recap Edition

March 16, 2009

In the wake of the Globe’s latest article on the difficulties Mass. libraries are facing (including word of four newly decertified libraries), I think it’s time to review where we are:

Boston: Layoffs have begun, 1 branch closed.

Boxford: Risking closure of West Boxford branch.

Brockton: Risking decertification.

Chemlsford: Risking Decertification

Dennis: $13k cut from budget

Fitchburg: Decertified, budget slashed 68%, temporarily used as a pet shelter.

Freetown: Decertified

Hubbardston: Decertified

Newton: 4 Branches closed, $89k cut from payroll.

Norton: Decertified

Pittsfield: $55k cut from budget

Springfield: 4 employees laid off

Wareham: Decertified

Winthrop: Risking Closure

I know there are plenty of other stories out there, so please share them if you have them.


March 12, 2009

So according to an article in this morning’s Globe, Mass. is looking at as much as an additional billion dollar shortfall for the remainder of THIS fiscal year.

Not good.  Not good at all.

Legislative Breakfast

March 6, 2009

Today my library hosted one of a number of statewide legislative breakfasts, this one was very well attended both by concerned members of the library community and by members of the state’s Berkshires delegation.  It was informative, it was a wonderful experience, it was depressing as hell.  The state of the state is clearly awful.  

Two of my favorite people in the library community had to speak of our current hardships.  Janet Schraeder from C/WMars told the story of the Fitchburg library, one of my favorite cautionary tales.  A library that suffered an over 60% budget cut, and which was briefly reduced to serving as a pet shelter.  And Jan Resnick from my consortia, WMRLS, used the opportunity to announce their first (and hopefully [but unlikely] only) round of layoffs.

Afterwards the legislators themselves spoke, quite frankly of the state’s current economic climate.  These are not good times.  We’re looking at record deficits, some cuts have to be made and there is not any fat left to trim.  Libraries are likely going to be in a lot of pain in the next year, but everyone else will be too.

More Cuts

February 25, 2009

The Springfield Republican has a piece on cuts at my former home library.  The Jones Library in Amherst has lost $103k  and is having trouble deciding where they can make cuts.  They lost hours back in ’03 that were never recovered and are already at the minimum needed for state certification.  Furthermore it doesn’t help that one of their trustees is quoted in the article saying that she’s determined to maintain level service, which is a nice sentiment but doesn’t seem possible in the current climate.

I wish everyone at the Jones my best wishes.  They are probably the library that contributes most to our consortia, besides being an amazing library on its own.  They deserve the support of their community and I dearly hope they receive it.

SOL Part 2

February 5, 2009

More bad news today, Brian Herzog, the premiere library blogger in Mass., reports that budget cuts at his library in Chelmsford may cost them their certification.  I’m picking up a scary trend here.


February 5, 2009

That stands for save our libraries despite what you may think.  The latest possible casualty of the situation in Mass. is the Winthrop public library.  The town is looking at making up a $511,000 budget shortfall for the year by closing the library down.  Suddenly our problems don’t seem so bad, at least we have some support from the city.

Budget Cuts: Round 2

February 4, 2009

I’m going to keep this short as I’m still not sure just how much I can freely say.  The city’s second round of budget slashing has gone through and unlike the first time when we came out unscathed besides a hiring freeze, we were hit.  Happily our staff shall remain unaffected (besides the increase in stress due to living through these times), but nothing else was.

We’ve lost a sixth of our total book budget for the year, of which we’ve already spent around 60%.  Then there are cuts to supplies, technology, professional development, pretty much all those invisible things that would help us aleviate some of the current concerns of our patrons.

We live in uncertain times.  About the only thing I can count on is that in a few months there will be a round 3.

This Can’t Be Good

October 20, 2008

Last Thursday Governor Patrick announced a billion dollar budget cut to this year’s budget.  Libraries are so far unaffected, with the exception of those at the academic level.  But the economic future for the state is looking pretty bleak right now.

Fitchburg Revisited

August 7, 2008

The Worcester Telegram has an update on the fate of the Fitchburg public library, and this time it was picked up by the ALA’s weekly mailing list.  Things have not improved since the last time I checked.  They’re a month into having their hours reduced to 21 a week and neighboring libraries have gone on record saying they will deny service to Fitchburg patrons when the library’s state certification expries in January (as is standard practice in Mass.).

They are planning to begin a massive fund raising campaign shortly, and I wish them the best of luck.