January 23, 2022

Seattle: Mayoral Candidate and Current Mayor Differ on Library Funding

From The Seattle Times:

Mayoral Candidate Peter Steinbrueck has called out Mayor Mike McGinn for recommending a $1 million reduction to the 2013 library budget in the executive’s supplemental budget.

The mayor’s office was quick to respond that it is not cutting any programs, services, hours or collections. Rather, said spokesman Robert Cruickshank, it’s redirecting some savings the city found after discovering that it had budgeted twice to end the one-week August furlough throughout the library system. And health care costs for the libraries are about $500,000 less than anticipated.

Cruickshank called the reallocation of library funding “a technical change that reflects overbudgeting.” And he added that the library “is on board” with both adjustments.

But Steinbrueck, along with Councilmembers Tim Burgess and Jean Godden, say savings found in the library budget should stay with the library and not be redirected to other general fund programs. They note that 13 branches are still closed on Fridays and the library is still trying to rebuild collections and catch up on building maintenance deferred during four years of budget cuts.

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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.