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Statewide funding for shared library services in jeopardy

The Governor's Executive Order No. 2009-36 abolishes the Department of History, Arts, and Libraries as of October 1, 2009, and public libraries across the state of Michigan are concerned about how this will impact our services to you. These statewide cuts are in addition to the local cuts being made due to the recession, and are a double hit for Canton. The Michigan Library Association has issued a press release outlining the concerns public libraries throughout Michigan have with the Governor's plan as well as a position paper outlining the chilling effect the dissolution will have on statewide resource sharing, including interlibrary loan and research materials. A fact sheet is available that explains how these joint services are funded through state appropriations and federal matching funds. The Executive Order takes effect October 1, 2009, unless the legislature acts to create an alternative plan. Our hope is that our elected representatives in Michigan will recognize the importance of statewide library services and resource sharing that public libraries provide, and how we help our communities with job seeking, information gathering, computer access, and cultural activities.

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 favorite read using Novelist or What Do I Read Next? The Governor's Executive Order has placed funding for these statewide services 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 6% to 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 funding for MeLCat interlibrary loan and the Michigan eLibrary, because without their intervention, these services will go away. We are doing our best to maintain services, and will keep you updated as this situation develops.

Comments

polly anne 2030
Thu, 2009-08-06 23:21

What happened to all the planning that you and your staff have been putting together? It looks like you're begging the State of Michigan for more funds, but you're willing to hire more staff?? Think about all the people out there with NO JOBS, and are trying to get by day to day to provide for their families. You can not have it both ways. So, something has to give, and if that means cutting programs, less materials, less hours for the library to be open, cutting staff, or whatever it takes to continue to please the patrons, then you're going to have to be willing to GIVE CERTAIN THINGS UP!! I am sure that the patrons will truly understand that you're willing to work with the State of Michigan, but there is only so much that the CPL can do.

eva
Fri, 2009-08-07 08:37

Thank you, polly anne 2030, for your questions. Our work on the CPL 2010 budget continues, and will be presented to the Library Board of Trustees at their August 20 meeting at 7:30 in the Community Room of the library. As always, the public are welcome to attend and share their comments. Everyone at the library has worked to cut back, and the 2010 budget includes up to $600,000 in cuts compared to 2009, which also saw a cut of just over $600,000 compared to 2008. This is a total cut of more than $1 million out of what was a $6.4 million budget in 2008.

The Page positions posted are replacements, not additions to our payroll, and will be the last hires we make for the foreseeable future.

You are correct that the recession affects everyone. Our local budget woes aside, the Governor's Executive Order abolishing the state library are additional cuts that the library cannot bear on our own. MeLCat interlibrary loan and the Michigan eLibrary research products are some of our most popular services; they allow us to pool public library resources throughout the state and leverage our tax dollars. If these additional state cuts come to pass, CPL does not have the revenue to replace them, and we will give them up. My intention in sharing this news with the community is to alert you to the further cuts that are coming.

While we continue to work with our state library association, the state librarian, and our elected officials to minimize the impact the EO will have on MeLCat interlibrary loan and the Michigan eLibrary research products, as of October 1 the entire state of Michigan is slated to lose the legal resources, genealogical resources, and local history collections of the State Library of Michigan, and we will eventually lose interlibrary loan services and access to research databases, too.

ohy
Sat, 2009-08-22 08:27

The story is often told of Lincoln regularly walking many miles to check out books from his local library. Upon such humble foundations he built the wisdom needed to make the transition from log cabin to the White House. Not only is he one of our beloved presidents but also one of the greatest historic figures in human history. We should not deny the same opportunity to our citizens today.

Please tell the Governor and State House and Senate, we must support our libraries. Valuable information does not reside in popular books or the internet alone. Until one has tried to find an out-of-print book (as I have done on a couple of occasions), it is difficult to appreciate why the inter-library loan system is so valuable. No library standing alone can supply all the needs of its community. The logic of sharing resources between libraries within the state is self-evident. Make economies elsewhere. Increase our taxes if necessary. But please leave the inter-library loan system intact.

ohy.

eva
Tue, 2009-08-25 12:59

ohy, thank you for your comments. A website, Michigan Libraries for the Future, has been created that outlines the impacts of the Executive Order and how it will affect statewide interlibrary loan and statewide resources, both print and online. At this point, only intervention from the legislature will prevent cuts to interlibrary loan and other statewide resources from occurring.