Thoughts From County Native and Arlington Public Library Director, Diane Kresh
On Saturday, Feb. 20, the acting County Manager presented to the County Board the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2011.
As with the other County departments, the Library faces serious cuts as a result of the historic economic downturn that has affected virtually every state and local government in the nation. The Library budget details can be found here: http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/ManagementAndFinance/budget/file74864.pdf
The proposed budget would affect the Library across the board, system-wide in the following ways for FY 2011:
- The Library’s proposed cuts affect workforce—which translates into public service hours—and materials
- Seven permanent Library staff positions are to be eliminated and much of the funds for the non-permanent workforce—63 percent—is to be eliminated as a result of reduced public hours
- The Library materials budget faces a serious reduction resulting in, for example, no more music compact disks system-wide; no more branch periodicals
- Proposed cuts in children’s materials are not as severe as those for other types
- No Library fees and fines would be raised
- Each branch library except Glencarlyn and Cherrydale would lose one service day each week—Glencarlyn and Cherrydale branches lost those hours in FY 2010
- Reductions in branch hours will be done geographically so sections of the County will have a library open each day of the week; closures will be consolidated into full days rather than half days to simplify the schedule for the public
- Central Library would open at 10 a.m. rather than the current 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday and would close at 5 p.m. on Sunday rather than the current 9 p.m.
The proposed budget is now in the hands of the Board, with public hearings set for March 23 and 24.
As a department director, I will go before the Board at its April 10 session to review details and answer questions. Final adoption of the FY 2011 County budget is set for April 24.
Please use the comments section below to post your thoughts, questions and ideas. I always appreciate hearing from the people we’re here to serve.