Bellingham Public Library has gone through tremendous budget cuts this past year. Long term employees have been layed off. They’ve lost their Children’s Librarian and haven’t replaced him (as far as I know – no press release or job search ongoing at the moment). The city of Bellingham has one of the highest library usage per capita in Washington state (According to the 2008 Washington Public Library Annual Statistical Report). We Bellinghamsters love us some libraries!!
The City recently announced that another round of cuts is going happen. Another 11% or $372,000. That’s lots of dough and lots of services. BPL put out a press release outlining what some of those cuts might look like as well – it’s worth reading.
Having a strong public library system is not only important for literacy, information access and employment resources amoung other things, but it has many other benefits such as increasing property values [Studies on public libraries ROI have been compiled by the Library Research Service, OCLC also has some information]. Not that we need to be so fiduciary.
Tomorrow there is a Board Meeting at 9am in the Library Board Room. I would encourage everyone who is able to attend.
Other ways to get involved locally include:
More fuel for the fire can be found at the ALA’s Return of Investment Library Values page.