We all know that economic times are hard. Many of us are prepared to accept some cuts in government programs to reduce deficit spending. Nevertheless, spending for some programs are good values for tax dollars, and state funding for our local library is a prime example and should not be drastically reduced.
The first draft of the State’s budget proposal for 2012 -2013 affects every statewide library program and would definitely impact our library. This budget shows a 99% decrease in state funding for statewide local library aid programs and a 94% reduction to library resource sharing programs at the State Library. The state budget proposal eliminates Loan Star Libraries (direct aid grants). We use our Loan Star Grant to buy many of our books, audio books, and DVDs. The budget proposal eliminates all state funding for TexShare databases. TexShare provides an online library of research materials available to all the state’s universities and communities and a K-12 Database Program allowing K-12 students access to digital instructional materials. The proposed budget also eliminates state funding for consulting services to libraries. It also assumes an overall loss of over $8 million in IMLS funds (federal funding for regional library systems). The Big Country Library System is our regional library system and provides much of our training, our technical support, and the interlibrary loan program.
According to the Texas Library Association, "94% of Texas voters agree that public libraries are a good value for tax dollars and 87% believe libraries deserve more funding." If you are one of these voters, you can help by calling or writing our state officials to urge them not to cut funding for local libraries.
Senator Troy Fraser
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0124
Abilene District Office (325) 676-7404
Representative Harvey Hilderbran
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0536
Kerrville District Office (830) 257-2333