Philadelphia: “Free Library Borrowers Face Long Waits for Books, Materials — the Side-Effect of a Shrunken Materials Budget”
From The Inquirer:
A state mandate calls for the city’s library system to spend at least 12 percent of its annual operating budget, currently around $48 million, on collection expenditures – including books, materials, and special collections. But since 2010, the 54–branch system has fallen below that threshold — sometimes by more than $1 million, according to a review of Free Library budgets — severely depleting its collections and creating long waits for books and materials for thousands of patrons.
When the materials budget dropped in 2010 from $8.5 million to $4.8 million, the downsizing of collections was “huge,” said Free Library president Siobhan Reardon.
“It was a 50 percent cut to the collections, absolutely,” said Reardon, who took over the system in 2008. “And that decision was to save jobs. … Unfortunately, it’s jobs or it’s collections.”
On a Related Note…
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. 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.