Rell Cuts to Libraries Shortsighted

Librarians in Connecticut are worried–and they have a right to be. The governor’s budget has proposed draconian cuts in a lot of areas, but libraries, it seems, have been especially singled out. Take a look at some of what we’d lose (from the CT Library Consortium) should these cuts stay in the budget:

Suspend Funding for Statewide Digital Library – iCONN databases, now free to public, school, and academic libraries, with over 30 million searches, are GONE!

iCONN is an excellent repository of not just academic databases, but cultural ones as well. iCONN, for instance, hosts the Hartford Courant digital archive, which stretches back to the 18th century. These resources are invaluable to schools and public libraries around the state.

Suspend Funding for Connecticard Payments – CCard, which now reimburses municipal libraries for the 4.7 million transactions when they lend library materials to out-of-towners annually, is GONE!

I often travel to other libraries to borrow books, and just to look around. I can easily check out materials with my Enfield library card. If this cut goes through, this service will disappear. Another cut would drastically reduce funding for interlibrary loan, meaning that users would largely be limited to only what their own town’s library had on the shelves.

There are many more cuts, but these are the worst of them.

As I’ve said before, in hard times libraries become invaluable resources. Many people use them to look for jobs, to better educate themselves, or simply to find entertainment that doesn’t cost money. Schools rely on the state’s online library resources–to cut those would be a terrible loss. Libraries are government services that work.

As a librarian myself (though I don’t work in a public library), these proposed cuts are pretty appalling. I hope they don’t have a chance of cutting. Libraries and library services are worth preserving, especially now.

There’s been some news of a rally in Hartford this Friday to protest the cuts. I’ll post more if and when I find out more information.

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8 responses to “Rell Cuts to Libraries Shortsighted

  1. Libraries are government services that work.

    Amen!!

  2. Libraries are government services that work.

    That was true pre-internet, now libraries are little more than tax payer funded entertainment centers. They’re going the way of bookstores, with emphasis on bestsellers and movies.

  3. wtfdnucsailor

    Noting how crowded the Waterford Public Library is every time I visit (about once every three weeks) I have to say that it is one of the most popular and useful of the services provided by the Town (with a big help from the independent Waterford Library Association and its endowment). Now days, the Library is a job search and research center, not an entertainment center.

  4. Libraries are government services that work.

    Every government service is one that works if you use it.

  5. I’d like to revise and extend my above remarks. 🙂

    No question libraries have value to the community. Most libraries have a space dedicated to local history, some of that material can’t be found anywhere else. I had a used bookshop waaaay back in the pre-internet days, and I donated a few volumes to our town library. I’d like to think they’ve been helpful to someone doing research.

    I love librarians, they’re some of my favorite people. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I think libraries should be repositories of knowledge, wisdom, and great art. Whoever is making the decision to highlight the latest schlock out of Hollywood has it backwards. Libraries shouldn’t cater to public whim, it’s the other way around – libraries should educate the public on things that are worth knowing.

  6. Libaries are overrated. Iconn is nice but the small number of dilettantes that use it are tiny. The only reason Connecticut still exists is our neighbor New York pays,or used to, enormous salaries to a large number of willing commuters and the fact that Connecticut serves as a roadway to New England. The “land of Steady Habits” degenerated into a selfish, self centered nanny state with the passage of the income tax and the spending power that gave to politicians like Amman, DiBella and Rowland, whose only agenda was getting power by giving money to the loudest and sympathetic causes. The Rowland scandals were the natural result of the the disbursement of these illgotten excess funds.

  7. No question libraries have value to the community. Most libraries have a space dedicated to local history, some of that material can’t be found anywhere else.

    If only local libraries would focus on research data instead of running up their budgets buying multiple copies of every steamy best seller that comes down the pike.

    Seems to me, instead of spending tax dollars building libraries we should let Borders do it for us and donate enough adjacent square footage for the public library.

    Want some steamy novel?
    Great; go through those doors over there and you’ll be inside Borders where you can buy anything you want.

    Need some research data?
    Right this way………………..

  8. When is the complaining going to stop? Whether it’s cuts in library resources or cuts in healthcare, somewhere, something has to be cut. Everyone knows the money isn’t there – yet they continue to whine and moan when it’s their cause/interest/need that’s being cut. Understandable, but this is only temporary. It’s essential. Suck it up, just likes the hundreds of thousands of unemployed Connecticut citizens who have taken a permanent cut – not only to their salary, but to their dignity, to their future, and to their children’s futures. Just as collectivism works when we’re striving to achieve goals together, as Americans, during difficult times, we once again need to act collectively in order to make it through. No one wants to see cuts, ever. Personally, I’d rather see information databases get cut as opposed to funding for the homeless or CCP. Think about it, and then ask yourself, is what we’re cutting able to be re-implemented in the future? Databases are, human beings aren’t.

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