March 19, 2010

Catching Up - Cuts to Libraries

Like I said yesterday, apologies for the extended absence. Have I lost all my followers? If not, how has everyone been holding up, especially with budget issues?

NJ's new governor revealed some massive cuts all around in his budget proposal yesterday. State aid to my library's town of West Orange is proposed to be $996,887 less than last year, or 17.5%. (Star Ledger). The Board of Education is expecting an even bigger hit.

In West Orange, the cuts mean a loss of $6 million in state aid, a nearly 64 percent cut.
"It means our educational program is going to be devastated," Superintendent Anthony Cavanna said. "It has the potential to drive taxes up. It may not; we can raise taxes or cut services. We have some pretty tough decisions to make."
(Star Ledger)

NJLA has informed its constituents that the proposed budget is cutting millions of dollars for their services - money that goes to interlibrary loan, databases, program funding, and other critical library services.

I knew something was coming, and I guess we still don't really know what that something is. There's a facebook group, Save NJ Libraries that should keep everyone posted on what's going on and ways to get involved.

Let's hope for the best.

Comment Moderation

Just noticed some bizarre anonymous spam posting in the comments. I'm going to delete them and I've switched the comment setting to registered users - so you'll need to sign in with your google or openid account to comment.


March 17, 2010

It's been a long time...

Hello! It's been a long time!

I apologize for my complete lack of posting. It's taken time adjusting to working in such a busy library. After finishing up my degree, my brain is happy taking on topics unrelated to library science in my spare time.

Anyway, I wanted to make a brief post regarding library events/programming.

WOPL's High School Book Discussion Group, "Talk It Up!" is meeting later this month to discuss Walter Dean Myers' book Sunrise Over Fallujah. I'm not planning on using twitter, facebook, youtube, flickr, or video games to enhance the discussion. In fact, we've never veered too far off the track of what one thinks of when they think book discussion. And guess what? The teens show up! We've had a steady group of about 10 high schoolers that show up every month, book read, ready to speak.

Why? Because good books are good books. Because people like to share in real life just like they like to online. Because everyone is given a chance to speak. And maybe a little because I serve cookies!

What we will be doing, besides discussing the book, is discussing the Iraq "operation" itself. I've gathered info on Military and Civilian casualties, as well as information on the 200+ mass graves discovered throughout the country.

Book Discussions are pretty much as straight-forward as you can get as far as library programming. A book, a group, opinions, and if applicable, facts...and you have yourself a dynamic hour long program that encourages literacy, provides for the informational and recreational needs of patrons, and allows for consideration and debate on important topics. Definitely a staple of library services!