We had some very disappointing news locally from this week’s election.
Aurora, the city where BCR is located, lost its bid to create a general improvement district which would have given the library dedicated funding. As their budget will be reduced by about 50%, they’ll be closing four of their seven locations (see Expected 2010 Library Cuts) and about 40 staffers will be laid off. All this during a time when the unemployment rate means more people than ever are dependent on the resources libraries provide and in a city where over 15% of the residents live below the poverty line.
As of today, it seems that only 20,778 people (see bar graph) made this decision for a city of over 300,000.
Budget cuts are an almost universal problem for libraries. In the last meeting of BCR’s Public Libraries Advisory Group, we were discussing how different funding models might help and that in some states, new laws must be enacted before libraries will even be able to consider such models (see last paragraph). I know that in Colorado, libraries that have been able to form library districts are able to best ensure their funding.