The Rest of the Story

The Florida Times-Union published an article on Sept. 21 titled “Library down to last page in budget: Patrons could be final chance for system to avoid big cuts.” While it was accurate and we appreciate the Times-Union bringing the library’s budget crisis to the attention of readers, the figures in the accompanying chart were based on Fiscal Year 2009 data contained in the Capacity Plan Study by Godfrey’s Associates.

It’s important that you have the full and up-to-date picture concerning library costs. As you read the article, please keep in mind these key points:

  • Operating costs in the article under-report the full costs of running the libraries; the numbers listed on the chart only account for staffing and utilities costs. They do not include the cost of library materials or of janitorial, security, or distribution services, nor of maintenance, indirect cost allocations, or IT costs.
  • The chart does not include costs of functions that serve the system as a whole, such as salaries of staff in support services, library administration, and facilities management, as well as the cost of centralized computer systems, subscriptions to reference databases, and our rapidly growing e-library services.

The library faces a $3.5 million cut if the City Council approves the budget as-is on Sept. 27. You have time to contact your city council representative and let him or her know that you do not want to lose library service. Find your council member by visiting the My Neighborhood search on the City of Jacksonville website and entering your address.

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