The Jacksonville Public Library is facing significant budget cuts that will impact all library locations effective Oct. 1, 2011. The total cut to date comes to almost $3.5 million. It is important to understand how this figure came about, and what it means to you and our libraries.
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.
The Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library plays an important role as an advocate for our libraries. Ongoing budget cuts have made this role even more important in 2013. One important effort is the ongoing petition drive for a straw vote on an independent tax district for the library, as recommended by a recent JCCI study. Volunteers are needed to help with the petitions. Find out what you can do to lend a hand at www.fjpl.org.
The Board of Library Trustees and the library administration appreciate Mayor Alvin Brown including the Jacksonville Public Library in his proposed budget, which he presented to the City Council July 14. In his remarks, the mayor publicly recognized our libraries as “vital educational institutions in the community—serving people of all ages, from all walks of life and from all across the city.”
In August the Jacksonville Public Library, the third oldest Federal Depository Library Program library in Florida, marked a centennial milestone in storing and sharing history. U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown and former State Sen. Tony Hill attended the centennial celebration and presented a proclamation from Mayor Alvin Brown recognizing the library for a century of public access to government documents. These important publications include everything from Continental Congress papers to the Warren Commission report to Watergate transcripts.