October 31, 2014

Funding: Vermont Libraries Budgets Strained by Recession, Technology Demands

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From the VT Digger:

Vermont has the most libraries per capita in the country. But not all of them are up to speed. Twenty-four libraries in the state still lack wireless Internet, according to Vermont public library statistics.

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“You can’t think about libraries without technology,” said Martha Reid, Vermont’s state librarian. “The kind of things they are offering are expanding and their budgets are not keeping up with these changes.”

The total municipal funding has increased slightly, according to data collected by the Department of Libraries. But as Vermont doesn’t provide state funding to libraries, it is up to cities and towns to decide how much they want to spend on library services each year.

Data from the Department of Libraries also show that in total, Vermont libraries are spending more than they receive.

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Vermont is one of the eight states in the U.S. that does not provide direct state funding for libraries. That is something that the Vermont Library Association tried to change with a campaign in 2007, asking the Legislature to distribute $1.6 million on top of the money that the libraries receive from municipalities. Such direct aid would have given each library a minimum grant of $1,500, depending on budget and statistical data.

The campaign failed, and the organization has no plans for a similar campaign in 2014, [Laurel] Stanley, [president of the VLA Trustees Section] said.

Much More in the Complete Article

See Also: Iowa Libraries Refocus Spending as New Technologies Change the Way People Read (July 22, 2013)

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.