[nfbwatlk] Fw: WTBBL Budget

Mike Freeman k7uij at panix.com
Sun Apr 18 10:51:47 CDT 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Sue Ammeter" <sue.ammeter at cablespeed.com>
To: <presidents at wcbinfo.org>; <wcb-l at wcbinfo.org>
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2010 9:53 AM
Subject: [Wcb-l] WTBBL Budget

> Below is a letter that I received from State Librarian Jan Walsh:
>        I wish I could answer more questions about
> hiring back, but we just don't know yet whether we will be able to hire
> anyone back at all. The cut is deep,
> but the agency is saying that the library has essentially taken a huge hit
> and they will try to absorb the other agency cuts. When we know if we can
> restore
> any funding I will let you know. Would you pass the following letter to 
> our
> community on to the Council and the PAC?   Thanks. Jan
> An Open Letter to Washington State Library's Constituents
> The Washington State Library
> Eight Years of Amazing Community Support
> The erosion of the State Library began in 2002 when the Governor attempted
> to close the Washington State Library (WSL), and in 2003, when the
> Legislature
> changed the mission of the library, eliminating services to state 
> employees,
> and cutting the staff in our branch libraries by 50%. Budgets between 2003
> and 2009 declined, and we certainly couldn't keep up with inflation.
> Last December, our analyst introduced the possibility of closing the
> library!  We enumerated the implications of such a move, and pointed out
> that the budget
> erosion coupled with the Governor's proposed budget would result in a 51%
> staff reduction, and cuts to the budget of over 30% during the past ten
> years.
> In order to implement the Governor's proposed budget, retroactive to July 
> 1,
> 2009, we laid off 31 staff, a third of our FTEs, in February 2010. If we 
> had
> delayed the layoffs, the cuts would have been far deeper, perhaps 40% to 
> 50%
> of the staff. We dropped to one cataloger and one page, eliminated our
> preservation
> department, and wondered if we would be able to provide adequate service.
> At the same time, we realized that our Maintenance of Effort for the 
> federal
> LSTA funds would be in jeopardy.
> I reached out to our constituents for help. The Washington library
> community, the blind community, and genealogists came through in ways I
> could never have
> imagined.  Visits to legislators, emails, and phone calls from concerned
> constituents kept the budget cuts from exceeding those in the Governor's
> proposed
> budget. The final budget directed a $914,000 cut to the library. Further
> agency cuts were deep and if applied to the library could have further
> reduced
> our ability to provide services to our customers.  Fortunately, the
> administrative and executive staff of the Office of the Secretary of State
> recognize
> the severity of the cuts we have already taken, and will attempt to keep 
> our
> cuts at the level we have already implemented. It is unknown whether or 
> not
> we will implement furloughs in the agency.
> Some library activities have been diminished such as Washington Reads
> posters, library events, and conservation of historical maps and Northwest
> materials.
> The staff that remain are doing far more than "hunkering down"; they are
> finding more efficient ways to do business, eliminating some activities in
> order
> to do less with less. The book budgets are cut by 50%. There is very 
> little
> funding for training and travel. Because of a statewide freeze on in-state
> travel, hiring, contracts, and equipment purchases it is difficult to 
> carry
> on the business at hand. We are concerned that we meet our Maintenance of
> Effort
> required for federal funds.
> We are not the State Library of the past! We will start the new decade 
> with
> a significantly smaller budget and far fewer staff than we had at the 
> start
> of the last decade. But, we are settling into the reorganized library,
> perhaps the "new normal", with an amazing and resilient staff that are
> committed
> to providing excellent customer service and determined to keep WSL as a
> trusted and responsive organization.  We intend to carry on the good work
> that
> has been the hallmark of this State Library's service. We will move 
> forward
> with determination, and will forever be grateful for all of the help from
> you,
> our supporters.
> Jan Walsh
> Washington State Librarian
> Jan Walsh
> Washington State Librarian
> 360.704.5253
> jan.walsh at sos.wa.gov
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