Libraries Fight to Save Funding

By: Deneige Broom Email
By: Deneige Broom Email

Tallahassee, FL --- March 29, 2011

Libraries have been a community staple for years and many can't imagine not having one in their county.

Some local counties fear that could become a reality if the state cuts their funding.

Tuesday, library workers from around the state made their way to the capitol trying to have their voices heard.

They fear resources their counties need, will disappear if state aid is slashed.

Scott Joyner represents the Wakulla County Library and says libraries are crucial for a county's improvement.

"If it [state aid] goes away our children's programs go away, our book budget gets decimated. It's [the library] become a community center and the kids especially come to us after school each day and if the library goes away, the kids are going to find something to do and it may not always be good."

A Senate subcommittee has proposed cutting more than $21 million in state aid to libraries.

The portion going to Wakulla County makes up one third of its budget.

That's big chunk rural counties say they can't make up on their own.

Natalie Bender works at the Jefferson County Library.

Bender said, "When you live out in the country, the tax revenue isn't as much as if you live in Miami-Dade so we depend on state aid to provide the vital services."

These reps also say, if they don't get enough state funding, federal funding will go out the door too.

Paul Clark is known as "The Library Guy" at the Wilderness Coast Public Library. He helped organize Tuesday's Library Day at the Capitol because he says these places offer more than just books.

"We're part of the job solution," said Clark. "Libraries have classes for the people. Computers are available, we have resume help. People can use the internet to apply for jobs."

"If you live in Tallahassee or Jacksonville or Miami-Dade, you can't imagine not having internet access," said Bender.

Libraries will have to wait until the end of session to see what money is budgeted for them.

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  • by Sue on Mar 31, 2011 at 05:54 AM
    Scott gives his newly hired friends HUGE raises and then wants to take money from schools, libraries, and take jobs from state workers and make them pay more for their health care. This guy is SUCH A CROOK!!!
  • by Barb Location: Wakulla on Mar 30, 2011 at 09:20 AM
    Libraries are an essential part of any community. They provide a wide array of programs, as well as provide a location for public meetings, etc. They are in no way outdated nor are they a waste of money! I have found plenty of books at the library that I have been unable to find anywhere else, including the internet. The day we start to rely on the internet for all of our information is a sad one! In college my professors did not accept internet resources in a bibliography-they are not reliable or easily verified. And yes, I am a recent graduate, so don't think I am talking about professors from a long time ago.
  • by tom Location: madison on Mar 30, 2011 at 08:17 AM
    Shut them all down. They are now outdated and a waste of money.......if we had horse and buggies today people would be trying to save the outdated technology instead of embracing the new automobiles. Electronics are cheaper and more efficient and wifi internet is available just about everywhere for free. QUIT SPENDING MONEY...WE ARE BROKE.
    • reply
      by GET REAL on Mar 31, 2011 at 05:43 AM in reply to tom
      So we are going to drive our kids 35-40 miles or more to Tallahassee EVERY SINGLE TIME they have a project or assignment that needs researching? GET REAL! Kids ARE using the libraries they way they are supposed to be used and we cannot afford to lose them.
  • by aspnglr Location: Tallahassee on Mar 30, 2011 at 05:20 AM
    Libraries are not just a chunk of change of in a budget. They are a far reaching investment in the health of a community. People go to the library for a myriad of reasons, internet access being the most cited, but there are hundreds of other ways people can help themselves improve their lives at the library. Invest in your future and your community. Contact your legislators and tell them how important it is to have a public library available to everyone. Don't know your legislator? Your librarian can help you find out.
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