Connecticut Librarians “Speak Out” About Possibility of Severe Budget Cuts to Library Programs
From the Stamford Advocate:
It was in 1973 that things changed dramatically for public libraries in the state. That was when a Connecticard program was created to allow anyone in Connecticut to enter any public library in the state and borrow materials.
The program, funded annually by a state grant of about $1 million, has been a huge success: State officials say 5 million books a year are checked out using the Connecticard service.
But now, librarians in the state are making noise about Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposed 2015-16 budget, which would “zero out” the program, meaning that this option would no longer exist for book-borrowers, librarians say.
The governor says that he’s not eliminating Connecticard, just the state support of it.
“To be clear, the Connecticard is not being eliminated — libraries can still continue the program and accept existing cards using the funds that they have,” said David Bednarz, a spokesman in the governor’s office. “We understand there are tough choices and difficult decisions made in this budget, but we are ultimately putting Connecticut on a path toward a brighter future.”
State Librarian Kendall F. Wiggin disagreed.
“Not only would the program not be available for borrowers, it would have to be dismantled entirely — statutorily eliminated,” Wiggin said. “We’re the only state that has this kind of program, and if it’s zeroed out, getting the program back would be very difficult.”
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.