Connecticut Governor Proposes Significant Funding Cuts To Library Services
Emily Ramos and Ashley Torres never realized the number of ways the Willimantic Public Library could help them with their school work until Windham Technical High School held a library card sign-up session for its students Tuesday.
Many of those programs, however, could be in jeopardy if Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposal to cut the state library budget by $2 million goes through. Local librarians say those dollars are critical to funding local programs. For now, however, Ramos and Torres are armed with library cards that give them access to any library in the state and a vast digital collection.
A protest of the cuts is planned for the state capitol at noon April 15, during National Library Week.
The governor’s proposed budget would zero out the $950,000 that the state spent on Connecticard this year (Malloy was asked to fund it at $1.25 million next fiscal year). The other program is the Connecticut Library Consortium, which would lose all of its $332,500 state financing in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. That represents 63 percent of its operating funds, the nonprofit agency says.
The cuts are part of a long list of spending reductions in the governor’s proposed budget meant to reduce the state’s projected $1.3 billion deficit for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. (The year after that, another $1.3 billion deficit is projected — in both cases, the reason is said to be smaller-than-expected revenues and less federal aid.)
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.