The Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library plays an important role as an advocate for our libraries. Ongoing budget cuts have made this role even more important in 2013. One important effort is the ongoing petition drive for a straw vote on an independent tax district for the library, as recommended by a recent JCCI study. Volunteers are needed to help with the petitions. Find out what you can do to lend a hand at www.fjpl.org.
Check out this post from a local realtor who found out recently just how much she values the library!
Today I showed property at 10am, and then had to get a contract inked by my buyer. Now, with the iPad, I can do so much more than I can, but since I don’t have a portable printer (at least, not yet), when I had to print this morning 20 miles from my office, I opted for the Jacksonville Public Library. They have PC’s and printers, and at 10 cents a page, it was a deal.
My other option was do have everyone drive 10 miles down the road to an office, but hey, I got to renew my library card, and get the kind that fits on my keychain, impress my clients who had not been to the library here yet, and get the necessary signature! Next time you are in a pickle, think about how you can be creative!
The Friends of the Library bookstore at the Main Library has closed; however, the Friends will continue to operate the bookstore at University Park Branch Library, 3435 University Blvd. N. from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
The Friends will continue to have four Book Warehouse Sales every year at the University Park location. Save the date—the next one starts on Feb. 22. These book sales are a great way to help support the library while getting incredible deals!
Thanks to a donation by the Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library, Orange Park resident Skot Wilson is helping a school library in his former hometown of Union Beach, NJ, rebuild after Hurricane Sandy with an essential supply item: books. Check out more details on First Coast News.
You can help libraries damaged during Hurricane Sandy. The American Library Association has posted contact information for those wanting to help libraries in New York and New Jersey devastated by the storm. Thank you for doing anything you can to help.
- Libraries find ways to serve their communities during Hurricane Sandy (ibibliothecary.wordpress.com)
The Jacksonville Public Library has been named “Best of Jax” by Folio Weekly readers in the publication’s annual survey. JPL was selected the winner in the “Best Use of Public Money” category. We appreciate the community’s support and confidence in using taxpayer money wisely. Congratulations to the JPL staff!
Here’s what appeared in Folio Weekly:
Best Use of Public Money: Jacksonville Public Library
“The Jacksonville Public Library, with the main branch and 20 regional, community and neighborhood branches, has had to do more with less in the face of shrinking budgets and staffing cutbacks. Barbara Gubbin, library director, was thrilled with the Best of Jax recognition. “It’s encouraging to know people believe the library offers a solid return on their investment. Library employees work hard to maximize the public funds entrusted to us. With nearly 5 million people visiting area libraries last year and almost 9 million items checked out, we’re pleased to be one of the most popular city services.”
We greatly appreciate the many supporters who spoke out at last night’s City Council meeting in support of funding for their libraries. Your passionate pleas and moving stories about how the library has changed your life or positively impacts your children mean so much to the library staff.
The Council approved the library’s budget, including $792,000 that was returned to the library in order to fund Sunday hours of service at five library locations and $500,000 that was initially cut from the library’s materials budget. Despite those restored funds, the budget reflects a reduction of $3.5 million from the previous year. As a result, effective Oct. 1, service hours at 17 of the library’s 21 locations will be reduced and 71 full-time positions will be eliminated. The new schedule is posted to our website.
The cuts the library will endure in the coming year are significant, with fewer librarians to assist customers and fewer hours of service; however, were it not for your ardent support, we know the cuts could have meant closing some libraries all together.
This year’s cuts are indeed devastating to our community. Should the library’s budget be cut again next year even by one-fourth the amount it was cut this year, it won’t mean reducing hours; it will be mean completely closing some locations. We all want to avoid that, so please continue your support of your libraries. Consider joining one of our Friends groups, tell your councilmember why the library needs to be supported, and stay informed through this blog and the library’s e-newsletter.
Thank you for loving your library!
On Aug. 24, the City Council Finance Committee approved returning $792,000 to the library budget: roughly $500,000 would restore cuts to the materials budget (books, periodicals, DVDs, CDs, etc.) and the remainder would restore 20 of the 264 hours that were proposed to be cut, adding back Sunday hours at five locations. If the full City Council votes to approve the Fiscal Year 2013 city budget at its Sept. 25 meeting, the $792,000 will be restored to the library budget; however, the other proposed cuts to the budget would stand: most libraries would be closed on Sundays and Mondays, and 71 positions would be eliminated.
As part of the Sept. 25 Council meeting, there will be an opportunity for public comments. Each speaker is limited to three minutes. If you would like to address the Council about the library’s budget during the public comments period, you must fill out a speaker’s request card with your contact information and the bill number (2012-433). Speaker cards are available before and during the Council meeting. The Council meeting begins at 5 p.m. in City Hall (117 W. Duval Street).