In the last twenty four hours, I’ve been asked to save two different libraries. The first was the Brooklyn Public Library from a blog post by Rita Meade (if you are not reading her blog, you should be). It has the familiar budget-pocalypse to it that reminds me of the fight in New Jersey last year. The second was a link on Facebook to save the Oaklyn Public Libraries by Amy Sonnie (another librarian who I had the pleasure of meeting at the NJLA conference last week). There’s certainly more budget news around the country in the past month, but the way these came across my feeds like a one-two punch inspired me to write about it for the open thread.
I can remember back a year ago being chest deep in the New Jersey advocacy efforts. By this time last year, we had the rally at the State Capitol buildings (a first for the organization) and were pressing hard to get people to sign postcards, call, write, and do whatever. I can remember passing news back and forth from Twitter and Facebook as people shared every shred of news that came out. It was a tough time to think about losing the regional library cooperatives and just trying to climb back from a 74% cut. School libraries got creamed all over the state as the education funding was cut back severely; it was cringeworthy as school librarians (considered administration, not teachers) got chopped left and right. Academic libraries held on but I’m sure there was less materials on their shelves and less services offered overall. NJ libraries did relatively well this year (with some very notable exceptions going on right now), but it makes me think of the road ahead.
That brings me to the topic: what do you think we should do to get off the yearly budget drama cycle? What are you doing now to accomplish that? What are the trends you see coming out?
Just a reminder: even though I have suggested a topic, this is an open thread. Anonymous comments are allowed as well as other topics. Now, share what’s on your mind.