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Monday, April 12, 2010

New Jersey & Kinnelon Library Armageddon?

Kinnelon NJ Public LibraryThe Kinnelon Public Library, as you know it, is in real danger of a catastrophic reduction in service due to budget cuts from Trenton, New Jersey which will trigger mandatory corresponding cuts from the federal government.

Interlibrary lending will be eliminated -- if the Kinnelon Public Library doesn't have the book you want, well, that will be too bad; you will not be able to order it from another library in Morris County or New Jersey. [See my previous post about The Kinnelon Library is in Your House! Yes, it is. for details on interlibrary lending.]

Access to online newspapers, magazines, and business information will be eliminated.

There will be NO Library for the Blind and Handicapped (talking books, adaptive hardware).

More that half of Public Libraries will lose access to the internet.

Many libraries will lose email service.

Many libraries will lose their websites.

The amount of money involved is quite small, especially since it covers the entire state of New Jersey.

It seems penny-wise and pound-foolish to me to cut such a negligible sum, which produces such a major service and effect for the entire state.

The total amount cut from the Governor's proposed budget is about $10 million, which then triggers a $4.5 million federal cut in matching funds. For all of New Jersey.

Do take a look at the Kinnelon Public Library Links detailing what we can do to express our unhappiness with this budget proposal.

We can write to our state representatives, whose email addresses and links are provided, and we can join support groups that advocate for the library system with state government.

Whatever we think individually about the need to cut state spending to make up for the shortfall in revenue, it seems to me that we should do so in ways that do not kill the inexpensive services for the, in this case, over 160,000 people per day using the NJ Public Library System.

~Ted


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