Pennsylvania's Library Funding Reduced for Second Consecutive Year
Governor Ed Rendell signed into law a $28.5 billion budget for Pennsylvania's 2010-2011 fiscal year that, for a second year in a row, included cuts to public libraries across the Commonwealth.
Under the new budget, state-wide library funding will be reduced by $5.7 million to $62.5 million, which represents a cut of 9.1% in public library funding. For Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, overall state budget cuts will result in a reduction in funding of more than $600,000, including funding for basic library aid and services provided by the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. This reduction comes on top of last year's state budget impacts which cut funding for libraries by $1.5 million. Unfortunately, the State's budget challenges continue, and additional cuts throughout the year are possible. The Library continues to seek a long-term funding solution that will help to stabilize funding for future years.
2011 Allegheny Regional Asset District Request
The Library's 2011 operating budget request to the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) includes a 9.8% short-term increase over 2010 funding to enable it to maintain library hours, locations, programs and services to the Pittsburgh region while it continues to seek long-term funding. At its current funding level the Library is projecting a $1.724 million deficit for 2011.
"Given the status of various efforts to secure long-term funding, we view 2011 as another year requiring stop-gap funding until a long-term funding solution can be agreed upon and implemented," said Dr. Barbara K. Mistick, President and Director of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
Even with this requested increase, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's 2011 budget submission permits the Library to perform only the basic public services in terms of library hours, programming, new materials, and staffing. The Library continues to explore all ways to cut expenses and increase revenues. Yet, the cost of running even a basic Library system with no enhancements continues to rise.
The Library released the second in a series of community updates to keep the public informed about our progress toward the long-term financial and operational health of the system. Read the full report at Community Updates.