October 30, 2014

Florida: Without More Tax Dollars, Miami-Dade Library System Would Fire More Than Half its Full-Time Staff

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Note: Two related items are linked at the bottom of this post.

From the Miami Herald:

Without more tax dollars, Miami-Dade County’s library system would fire 56 percent of its full-time staff and bring on part-time workers to operate branches that will see hours cut by an average of 35 percent, according to a document released Thursday.

The draft budget assumes no increase in the coming fiscal year in the special property tax that funds the library system, which has been relying on cash reserves since 2010. The tax currently generates $30 million, but the library’s budget is $50 million and cash reserves are forecast to be gone by the fall. Mayor Carlos Gimenez says he will not endorse higher taxes without a referendum, leaving library administrators to map out how they would manage a 40 percent drop in funding.

The plan assumes no branch closings. Gimenez instructed library director Raymond Santiago to fashion a $30 million budget with all 49 branches, after facing a firestorm last year when the mayor proposed saving dollars by closing some of the less popular branches.

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Santiago released the library’s $30 million spending plan Thursday as part of a public-records request by The Miami Herald. Library advocates had been pressing Gimenez and library administrators to detail how a $50 million budget would be slashed to $30 million, and the draft spending plan shows savings would come from dismantling the current payroll.

Read the Complete Article (797 Words)

Hat Tip and Thanks: Matt R. Weaver

For more on this story (including primary documents), see our coverage of a report released about three weeks ago, “Without Tax Increase Miami-Dade Libraries Would Keep All Branches Open, But Cut Service”(March 9, 2014).

See Also: Library cuts are forcing tough decisions on children’s books in Miami-Dade (March 9, 2014)
Spending on Children’s Books Down 90% From Previous Years

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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.