Cuts to Service, New Fines Proposed to Slash Toronto Library Budget
Facing demands from Mayor Rob Ford to slash a further 4.3 per cent from her budget, Toronto’s chief librarian is proposing new fines and a slate of service cuts that would terminate literacy and school outreach programs.
Jane Pyper’s new recommendations would carve $7.3-million from the library budget and avoid a heavy reduction in branch hours currently being debated at city hall.
The bulk of the savings from Ms. Pyper’s recommendations come from $2.8-million in program cuts, a $3-million shaving of the collections budget and $500,000 over two years by replacing staff members with automated sorters in some branches. She is also recommending branches impose $1 fines for holds not picked up. Taken together, the suggestions would terminate 37 jobs.
The $3-million collections reduction would be followed by another $785,000 cut in 2013, bringing the total budget cut for new materials to 22 per cent.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.