Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Belt Tightening

Here are some facts from a recent study about the Jacksonville Public Library:

  • The number of residents with a borrower's card increased 23% since 2006.
  • Use of the Library's website increased 44% in the same time.

We all know that the world has changed since 2006-- one of the worst financial crises in 80 years took hold of everyone's budgets and still has a tight grip four years later.

As a result, the Library tightened their belt since 2006.

  • staff salaries decreased 4%;
  • the number of staff decreased 11%; and
  • Dollars spent on materials (books, DVDs, and CDs) decreased 27%.

Makes sense.

So why have the Library's total operating expenditures increased by 9% between 2006-11? If libraries are about people, information, books and DVDs, then why the increase in expenditures?

It turns out that the Library's operating budget is part of a much larger budget-- the City of Jacksonville's. Between 2006-11, the City of Jacksonville increased the costs that it charged the Library for services such as running its website (no more card catalogs-- just the web!).

For example, the Library is charged for all the services that the Public Buildings Division provides. So, 21 buildings, lots of maintenance-- right?

The amount the City charged the Library for "Indirect Cost Allocations" increased 193%. That's an increase.

Find out what is happening to your Library and why-- Come to the first meeting of Check It Out: Independent Library Funding.

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