Friday, January 29, 2010

Petition for Fairfax County Public Libraries

Last week I promised to give the URL for the on-line petition regarding funding for the Fairfax County Public Library. I thought it would be a simple matter. I have found several references in print, including in a Washington Post article and a Connection article. It seems there are at least two on-line petitions. One is The other is

I have learned that some Friends' groups are pushing people to sign a paper copy of a petition. This weekend, I hope that people who come in to George Mason Regional Library will see someone in the lobby with a copy of the petition.

Last July, the Fiscal Year 2010 began. The budget for the Library was cut 18% from the previous year. A lot of people lost their jobs. The budget to buy books, and magazines, and other matericals to circulate at the library was cut in half. Some people are beginning to notice because magazine subscriptions have expired. Each branch had to cut their spending on magazines and newpapers by 50%. A lot of bare shelves are now in the periodical area.

Other people are beginning to notice because the Library is getting fewer copies of newly published books. It used to be the policy that when a title was chosen to add to the system, every branch got at least one copy. Now, instead of 22 copies for the system, sometimes only four copies are added for the whole system.

If you go out on Saturday despite the snow in the forecast, stop in your neighborhood library. Ask about the next round of budget cuts.

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