|Book Burning in 1933, In Berlin's Opera Square|
Everyone is in an uproar. Here is one I got that was pretty interesting...
An open letter to the “vested community stakeholders” – in plain language LIBRARY PATRONS OF ALL AGES, GENDERS, RACES, CREEDS, AND ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS.
Miami Dade Public Loses 251 library staff + 22 libraries BUT we get a new mobile APP!!
I appreciate good technical writing. Mayor Gimenez’s July 25, 2013 memo entitled “Library District – Budget and Programmatic Update” was impressively crafted by a Spin Ph.D. It masterfully took complementary parts of the library system’s history and used it to explain how the wounded and crippled 27 survivor branches will forge ahead after dismissing the youngest, up-and-coming librarians and support staff. It’s an emotional roller coaster of a read.
The list of positive words used to describe what was built up with millions of tax dollars includes value, vital, user-centric, adaptable, most needed, the library was referred to as “the heart.”
Then the realities are also pointed out: closed bookstores, free internet and software on 2,700 desktop computers and laptops, free wifi, 5000 hours of free programs, and that millions use the library’s website.
According to the memo’s vague promises and bluster, the organization will be able to strengthen the online collection AND generate creative programming for the remaining communities. This will be accomplished with just ½ of the staff in the workforce. A massacre to the table of organization is a benefit to us all. What a jagged array of assurances when reading a plan that champions efficiencies, maximizing our reach, and quality of services all through finding a “community partner” to assume the workload of the displaced and newly unemployed. All of the partners listed in the memo have already been in partnerships with MDPLS – so they’ll be interested to now learn that they are will have the burden of responsibility for continuing public library programs.
Strengthening the online presence is also discussed. The library has broadcasted database resources to home computers for over a decade. Your library card number is your password. Sadly, with the looming destruction of the funding, databases have taken a hit. For example, Newsbank access for all states except for Florida has been dropped. That had been access to over 1000 or more newspapers, TV news transcripts, and more.
Sustainable county government is a key. According to a June 6, 2011 memo from Alina T. Hudak, entitled “FY2011-12 Budget Development”, it shows a grid of four areas of county government. In the budget gaps at FY2010-2011 ONLY the library was in the black. Countywide, Unincorporated Municipal Service Area, and the Fire District all created a $250 million budget gap. So what is the reward to the one, fiscally healthy, well run, and well-loved county department? It is sacrificed in the name of a strategic decision. The public’s libraries will pay a severe price and be dismantled for its ability to perform and to thrive within its budget during the worst two years in the county’s history. Underfunding their budget for 2013-2014 is a malicious payback to a Library Department that was sustainable until its funding was cut into half two years ago.
Genius said: Libraries are more than a place for books in my view. They are a safe place where people can interact from all socioeconomic groups. We have so few places -- Parks, libraries, public pools, beaches. Of course we can spend $300 for Heat tickets and interact with rich people. But where are free places where everyone is welcome? Where is there programing for the young? Why when we cut the budget do we ask people to choose services they have grown to expect? Are we punishing them for not supporting raising taxes? Get rid of some of those useless programs, county cars, and other perks Commissioners use to get reelected. Start with all those embroidered shirts and hats the Commissioners wear, and the Mom and Pop Grants. Little things add up.