Surprise: Funding for Florida Library Cooperatives Vetoed
From the Tampa Bay Library Consortium:
Governor Scott vetoed MLC funding for 2012-13. This loss of funds will hurt severely in the fiscal year beginning October 1. The funding can’t be restored this year, but Florida libraries badly need it to be restored for 2013-14.
On April 17 when Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the state budget bill and presented his veto list, funding for Florida’s Multitype Library Cooperatives was eliminated. [Our emphasis] This came as quite a surprise because there had been no indications that the Governor had any concerns with the funding or how it is used.
The program is an integral part of the provision of library service to Floridians. It supports interlibrary loan of materials among libraries across the state, administers the Ask-A-Librarian reference service, and provides critically needed training for library staff. The Library Cooperative Grants are necessary for the cooperatives’ operation and without this or replacement funding, the cooperatives will go away.
The Governor has been supportive of public libraries, the First Lady’s support for reading is well known and respected, and since the legislature actually approved an increase from $1 to $1.5 million to enable the cooperatives to support library e-book services, library advocates were quite surprised by the veto.
Florida has five regional organizations that rely on these funds. All five are non-profit organizations with memberships and elected boards. Their combined service areas include all 67 counties.
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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. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.