North Carolina: “Libraries Play Offense Over State Budget Cuts”
For years, state funding for libraries has been on the decline. But librarians in Western North Carolina are not taking this next round lying down.
In response to a recommendation by Gov. Pat McCroy to cut the state library budget by nearly 5 percent, librarians in the Fontana Regional system put out petitions in the libraries in Macon, Swain and Jackson counties.
It asks visitors to pledge their support for funding libraries with tax dollars. The system’s website also carries alarming facts and figures about the impending cuts to rally support.
Within two days of putting out the petition, the system had collected more than 400 signatures, which they scanned and sent to state representatives. In the following weeks, more sheets of signatures were amassed, and Wallace is readying that next batch to be sent off soon. She is hoping the effort can help avert what she says will more painful cuts to a crucial public service.
In 1998, the state contributed about $17 million to local public libraries, Wallace said. This year, $13.1 million was allocated.
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.