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Libraries in a Fight for State Budget Funds

The Nevada County Library and Libraries all across the state are fighting to reinstate funding lost in budget cuts. In the 2010-11 budget year the state libraries received 30.4 million.  Last year all library funding was pulled in trigger cuts.  Nevada County head librarian, Jessica Hudson says it looks like the upcoming budget year will not include library funding again.

“We’re really looking to get some definite Grass Root ground swelling happening, sending letters to the Senate and the Assembly sub-committee members that are on these campaigns to try and get them to give us a little bit of money back to support our efforts.”

On the Nevada County library website is a link to a suggested letter for people to send to the Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittee members as well as names and phone numbers of key legislative contacts asking them to restore half of the funding or $15.2 million dollars in the next budget year.  Hudson says federal matching funds are also at stake.

“We stand to lose 16 million federal dollars statewide that goes toward library funding generally and grant specific. So it’s like a double hit. If we don’t get this money this year, we’re only eligible for 85%. If we don’t get it next year, we’re only eligible for 22% of that 16 million. Three years out, we get nothing.”

Cuts to Libraries have also eliminated funding for Literacy programs which will have far reaching implications for Californians who are least able to advocate for themselves, namely those adults without basic reading and writing skills.  More than 3,000 people are now on waiting lists for literacy services.

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