September 28, 2009 | eva
Yesterday, the Michigan legislature's budget conference committee proposed another 40% cut to funding for joint library services, from $10 million to $6 million. A minimum funding level of $10 million is required to receive federal matching grant dollars of $5 million. These federal matching funds for MeLCat interlibrary loan and 25 MeL databases are at stake; due to the local economy and cuts to local funding associated with the recession, the Canton Public Library does not have the revenue to pay for interlibrary loan or online genealogical, historical, or reference products if the state legislature does not act to maintain statewide library services — Canton residents would lose access to these resources.
Each month, CPL patrons request nearly 1,000 items from other libraries through MeLCat, our statewide interlibrary loan service, and more than 8,000 people login to our Databases to use the Michigan eLibrary resources to research health and wellness using the Health and Wellness Resource Center, find out about their ancestors using HeritageQuest Online, read back issues of articles in magazines and newspapers through General Reference Center Gold, and find their next career using MeL Tests and Tutorials. Funding for these statewide services is in jeopardy; these are not services that CPL can afford to provide alone, particularly during this recession where our budget has already been reduced by 10% in 2009 and will be reduced by another 10% in 2010.
Many of you have expressed your support for the library's successful joint services and resource sharing. We continue to work with the Michigan Library Association and our elected officials in the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives to encourage them to support continued state funding of $10 million for MeLCat interlibrary loan and the Michigan eLibrary so we can receive the $5 million federal match, because without their intervention, these services will go away. We are doing our best to maintain services during this recession, and will keep you updated as this situation develops.