For immediate release | January 11, 2011

ALA President Roberta Stevens releases statement on California library budget cuts

San Diego – Gov. Jerry Brown released his 2011-12 Budget proposal calling it “painful” and one that requires sacrifice from every sector of the state. The proposal eliminates all state funding for the Public Library Fund, Transaction Based Reimbursement and the California Library Literacy and English Acquisition Service. The cuts translate to more than $30 million which will be stripped away from California public libraries.

American Library Association President Roberta Stevens released the following statement regarding the proposed reduction of funding for California’s public libraries.
“In our current economic environment we understand that state and local governments must make difficult decisions, but eliminating critical funding needed to sustain library service is not the answer.
“What will happen to the thousands of people who depend on libraries as a lifeline while they look for jobs and improve their skills to be competitive in today’s job market. U.S. public libraries are first responders in a time of economic uncertainty.
“Every service hour lost in our libraries translates into a million lost opportunities to connect people to distance education, unemployment benefits, and other e-government services. I encourage Governor Brown not to bury his head in the sand and work to understand the value of public libraries. It is clear that the Governor’s proposal to reduce funding for public libraries in the state of California must be re-evaluated.”
The American Library Association (ALA) is the voice of America's libraries and the millions of people who depend on them. Its more than 62,000 members are primarily librarians, but also trustees, publishers and others who support the work of the association.


Michael P Dowling