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.”
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