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This is Important: Florida Legislature Eliminates Funding for Libraries

May 2, 2009
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In the Florida legislature yesterday, “House and Senate negotiators agreed to wipe out state funding for public libraries.” See the Tallahassee Democrat: Florida Libraries Lose Funding

The elimination of funding is expected to cause closings, layoffs, and reduced hours in remaining branches, and creates a question about matching funds received by the libraries. From the Suwannee Democrat, Suwannee River Regional Library Director Danny Hales points out that libraries have become even more crucial to their communities in hard economic times: “We’re at our all-time high usage because of the economy. We’re hearing things like, ‘I’ve cut off my Internet because we’re on food stamps.’”

The Florida Library Association is all over it. In their press release (PDF), they ask Floridians to take action (and explain how):

This devastating action will result in some Florida library branches closing
and will seriously cripple libraries’ ability to serve Floridians. It will be especially damaging to
libraries in Florida’s rural communities, as these libraries rely heavily on provisions in the
program that help communities with lower tax bases.

The Florida Library Association (FLA) is calling on Governor Charlie Crist to use his influence
and ask legislative leaders to find a way to fund this critical program, which has helped support
public library service to Floridians since 1962.

FLA also calls on Floridians to contact their local representatives to ask them to fund Florida’s
State Aid to Public Libraries program so that libraries do not have to close branches around the
state. Use the “Find Your Legislators” box at www.flsenate.gov to find your local representatives
and their contact information.

The Association also has a second document (PDF) on taking action with a list of and details for people to contact, and indicates that this may be on a short timeline:

“With the budget process on track to end Sunday, the Florida library community has about 48 hours to get legislators to change their minds.”

Florida folks, please contact your legislators!

{hat tip to Southern Beale}

3 Comments leave one →
  1. MomTFH permalink
    May 3, 2009 11:23 am

    Thanks for the tip! I wrote an email to my state senator, and will write one to Gov. Crist’s office. I am going to post it on my Facebook page and on my blog.

  2. May 6, 2009 3:32 am

    This is such sad news. If I were from Florida I’d let the state legislators know asap. There’s so much devastation that will stem from it. What’s the use of the stimulus package if there are still going to be events like this?

  3. May 11, 2009 8:34 am

    It is a shame that schools and libraries are the first to be cut. Educational and reading should be stressed and encouraged.
    mary@transitionaldreams.com

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