Proposed 60% Budget Cut for State Libraries Could Have Us Using Card Catalogs Again

Categories: Literary, News
book%20burning.jpg
demented-pixie via flickr
Forget the budget cuts, let's burn some books.
Our options for affordable books are disappearing faster than publishers' willingness to print them. It's hard enough to find bookstore in some parts of the county, but now Borders is bankrupt and who knows how much longer Barnes and Noble can stay out of the red? The options for cheap movies are not much better. Blockbuster is reorganizing in bankruptcy court and Netflix is offering so many different membership plans it seems like they have to be in trouble. But if you thought the private sector's choices were dwindling, get a load of the public sector's assault on reading and film.

We always suspected elected officials were not fans of reading or documentaries, but now it seems like the goofballs in the Florida House of Representatives are intent on proving it. They are proposing to slash the state budget for libraries by 60 percent. That's close to two thirds of the total $21 million budget for the mathematically challenged, and would leave a paltry $8 million budget, guaranteeing that books would be as hard to get as they are unpopular in Tallahassee.

The House Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee - you know the committee which doles out state dough - already adopted a preliminary position in favor of the cuts. It's not the first time in recent years the house has taken a pitchfork to our libraries money bags. In 2008, they proposed cutting $10 million from the library budget, but that was when the budget was $32 million. Now, they're looking to gut the budget much further.

According to the Friends of the Miami-Dade Public Library, should the cuts go through it will mean branch closings in large and small counties alike, and the elimination of Internet services in some libraries. Anybody up for going back to flipping through the card catalogue and trying to decipher the Dewey Decimal system? Yeah, we didn't think so. The cuts would probably mean a death knell to things like the Florida Electronic Library.

The only positive about the proposed cuts is that they were adopted early in the legislative session meaning the mooks who approved them can still be convinced otherwise. Cultist says write them and give them hell.

Here's who to direct your vitriol at:

Transportation & Economic Development Appropriations Committee
 
  • Rep. Mike Horner (r), Chair: (407) 943-3077 / (850) 488-8992
mike.horner@myfloridahouse.gov/

  • Rep. Ritch Workman (r), Vice-Chair: (321) 757-7019 / (850) 488- 9720
ritch.workman@myfloridahouse.gov/

  • Rep. Richard Steinberg (d) - From Miami Dade: (305) 535-5445 /  (850) 488-0690
richard.steinberg@myfloridahouse.gov/

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