[Greater-Baltimore] Greater-Baltimore Digest, Vol 127, Issue 10
PMaurer at nfb.org
Thu Feb 25 14:22:40 UTC 2016
Greetings to everybody,
I have just called Senator Kasemeyer's office regarding the budget for the Maryland Library for the Blind. I hope others will also call.
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Subject: Greater-Baltimore Digest, Vol 127, Issue 10
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1. Re: [Mdpobc] LBPH Needs Your Help Immediately (Chrissie Day-)
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2016 11:02:26 -0500
From: Chrissie Day- <cmdayrdh at aol.com>
To: mdpobc at nfbnet.org, nfbmd at nfbnet.org, greater-baltimore at nfbnet.org,
md-sligo at nfbnet.org, nationalharbor at nfbnet.org,
md-atlarge at nfbnet.org, central-md-chapter at nfbnet.org,
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Cc: nfbmd at earthlink.net
Subject: Re: [Greater-Baltimore] [Mdpobc] LBPH Needs Your Help
Message-ID: <1530ede0a2e-37b7-18791 at webprd-a78.mail.aol.com>
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I just called the Senator!!!
Chrissie Day-cmdayrdh at aol.com
On Thursday, February 18, 2016, nfbmd via Mdpobc <mdpobc at nfbnet.org> wrote:
The Maryland Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped budget needs to be protected. Next week on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 23 and 24, I want you to call or email the following people and tell them that the staff positions listed in the budget must not be cut. Tell the Senators not to cut $48,470 from the budget.
The area code is either 410-841 plus the extension or 301-858 plus the extension.
If you live in Montgomery County, call Senator Nancy King. Her extension is 3686.
If you live in PG County, call Senator Ulysses Curry, his extension is 3127.
If you live in Hagerstown, call Senator Andrew Serafini, his extension is 5540.
If you live in Baltimore city, call Senator Bill Ferguson at 3600.
Everyone else should call the Chairman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, Senator Edward Kasemeyer at 3653.
Remember the email address is firstname.lastname at senate.state.md.us. Look for a message in early March with the names of delegates to call.
Below is a fact sheet about the library budget for your reference.
To: Education, Business and Administration Subcommittee of the Senate Budget
and Taxation Committee and
Education and Economic Development Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee
From: Members of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland
Contact: Sharon Maneki, President
National Federation of the Blind of Maryland
9013 Nelson Way
Columbia, MD 21045
Email: nfbmd at earthlink.net
Subject: Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Budget
The Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) program was neglected for many years because it had no line item budget in the Department of Education. To remedy this deplorable problem, a new funding formula for LBPH was established during the 2014 session of the General Assembly mandating the governor to fund LBPH to at least 25% of the funding received by the SLRC.
LBPH is the major source of reading material for blind children, senior citizens and working-age adults. This is not a luxury program. Currently, LBPH fails to meet its mission. Blind children are not gaining in literacy skills because they cannot get enough Braille books to read. The books exist, but there is not enough staff to get them to the students who need them. Many blind seniors losing vision do not know about this valuable program because the library does not have enough staff to do outreach and explain the benefits of the program. Lives are seriously diminished due to this lack of information. Blind persons of working age have little access to existing reference material at LBPH because there is not enough staff to answer the phone and provide needed information.
The 2017 budget includes a request for 14 new regular positions for LBPH. This request is not expanding the program. These positions will allow a failing program to function. Currently, LBPH serves merely 8% of its potential customer base. Since people are living longer, and more of the aging population is losing vision, the customer base will be increasing yearly. LBPH needs to be able to serve this growing population.
The Department of Legislative Services must understand that the purpose of the funding formula is to provide staff to keep the doors of the program open. New personnel is the most effective use of this funding since there will be no program if there is no staff. The Department of Legislative Services recommendation to reduce the library budget by $48,470 should also be rejected. LBPH is losing its knowledge base because staff is leaving due to the untenable working conditions. Without an infusion of critically-needed staff, the goal of saving a much-needed program will not be achieved.
Sharon Maneki, President
National Federation of the Blind of Maryland
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End of Greater-Baltimore Digest, Vol 127, Issue 10
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