Since 2001, state funds for technology and resource sharing among the state’s libraries has decreased from $4.4 million to $2.1 million.
State aid to regional libraries has decreased from $16.9 million to $9.9 million in the same time frame. Overall, support of libraries has fallen from $34.6 million to $25.3 million. Meanwhile, every thing from usage to costs have gone up, according to those who work in libraries.
Central/Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing Inc. (CWMARS) is a consortium of libraries which share access to books and resources. Board member Richard Felver says in 2014, 6.5 million items were taken out of libraries and 7.9 million academic articles were read. E-book circulation has increased by 34 percent.
“You can’t do these kind of things without strong networks,” Felver said on Friday morning when the Library Supporters of Western Massachusetts spent the morning advocating for additional funds with state lawmakers.
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