Thursday, July 07, 2011

library funding cuts - unannounced and unwelcome

It was disappointing to learn that the Eastern Regional Libraries has received a funding cut from the state government (along with most library corporations across the state), unannounced and only revealed as the library received its annual funding agreement.

At a time when the ERL is casting it's budget for 2011/12, the timing of the funding cut couldn't be worse timed. In the case of Yarra Ranges it means a $5,000 cut on last year's funding and a cut of $ 27,500 on the forecast funding*. So not only a loss of the monies received under the recurrent Public Libraries Grant Program but a loss of indexation funding too.

*note: The forecast funding is made up of last year's funding allocation with the state government's cpi rate of 2.75% applied to make up the total amount anticipated.

There has been no explantion provided by the Government for the cut in funding and given the Yarra Ranges Council has already signed off on its budget for 2011/12, it now puts us in a position of funding shortfall in our budget for our libraries.

State Government funding for libraries has been consistently cut over the years with local government continuing to pick up the slack, but enough is enough. The government needs to reinstate our funding and make a commitment to lifelong learning and the ongoing literacy and learning of our society through library services.

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