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Impact of library cuts reviewed by board

The Board of Library Trustees held a budget workshop Monday to discuss in more detail the cuts facing the library. One of the biggest impacts of the cuts on customers will be the reduction in library hours: all libraries will be closed on Sundays and most will be closed on Mondays as well. Cuts also will mean fewer books and other materials, fewer programs and services and fewer staff able to help customers.

Library operations to be cut $4.6 million

Mayor Alvin Brown Monday unveiled his budget proposal for the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year which begins Oct. 1. While his proposal shows a $4.3 million reduction in the library’s budget next year as compared to the current year, it will have the same impact on library operations as the $4.66 million cut previously requested because the cuts to staffing and materials remained the same.

Library Faces Significant Budget Cuts

The Jacksonville Public Library faces a significant reduction in staffing, service hours and materials in Fiscal Year 2013 if the City Council approves the $4.66 million budget cut requested by Mayor Alvin Brown. He will present his budget to the City Council July 16; the council will discuss and debate the budget this summer, with a final vote due by Sept. 29.

Under the proposed budget:

City Budget Gap Grows

The City's Police and Fire Pension Fund costs next Fiscal Year will be 57% higher than expected, according to an article in The Florida Times-Union.  As a city department, this news will have an impact on the library's budget for the new year. 

With a $45 million drop in revenue compared to last year, Brown was already working to fill a $58 million hole. In a preliminary version of the $1 billion budget submitted May 1, the administration estimated pension costs jumping by $23.2 million, far less than the actual increase.

In the news: Library funding and JCCI study

The results of a recently released JCCI study on independent library funding were a hot topic over the weekend, with the Florida Times-Union publishing two editorials weighing the impact of the study's findings. Read the full report from JCCI here or take a look at the executive summary.

Funding for FL Library Cooperatives Vetoed

Governor Rick Scott recently vetoed funding for Florida Library Cooperatives, including the NE Florida Library Information Network (NEFLIN). NEFLIN provides cost-effective services to the Jacksonville Public Library, including valuable training for library staff. We encourage you to write to Governor Scott to voice your opposition to this veto. You can e-mail Governor Scott from his website.

Letter: City residents should decide library funding

Take a look at this letter published in the Florida Times-Union this week, reminding all of us to let our elected officials know we support our libraries. It only takes a minute to let your City Council member and the mayor know how important libraries are to you. To locate your elected officials, simply visit the JaxGIS Neighborhood Search and enter your address.

City Council members present resolution at Main Library

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Yesterday, the library marked National Library Workers Day and National Library Week with the presentation of a City Council resolution recognizing the library's contributions to the community. Council members Doyle Carter, John Crescimbeni and Jim Love presented a framed resolution to Jim Selzer, chairman of the board of library trustees.

How to help: Writing your elected officials

This is National Library Week, the perfect opportunity to write your elected officials to let them know how important libraries are to you and your community.

Your message will make a difference! Please take just a few minutes to send a quick message to them from your state library association's take action page: http://capwiz.com/ala/fl

Jacksonville Public Library