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Potential impact of budget reductions for Jacksonville libraries

Potential impact of budget reductions for Jacksonville libraries

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Published by: The Florida Times-Union on Jul 23, 2012
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  July 23, 2012
Impact of $4.6 Million Reductionto the 2013 Jacksonville Public Library Budget:By the NumbersJacksonville residents will
experience …
264 fewer hours per week of library service (a 24% reduction)
No libraries open on Sundays
Most libraries closed on Mondays
Branch libraries to be closed two days per week (Main Library closed oneday per week)$500,000 reduction in expenditures on books, movies, music, and e-books,
resulting in …
10,000 fewer copies of new books for adults
5,000 fewer copies of new books for children and teens
1,000 fewer new DVDs and 560 fewer new music CDsFewer opportunities to check out materials; as many as 1.3 million fewerbooks, DVDs and CDs per year will be borrowed.189,000 fewer computer sessions per year750,000 fewer opportunities to visit the library per year6,000 fewer community group meetings per year
Includes homeowner’s associations, civic groups, political groups, social
service agencies, health & wellness groupsAlmost 45,000 fewer individual hours of literacy instruction per year2,700 fewer programs for children, teens and adults per year
Downtown will experience
2,800 fewer visitors to the Main Library each week
The Library will experience
11% reduction of its budget (on top of a 3.5% cut last year and a 5% cut theyear before)Loss of 71 full-time positions (a 20% reduction in staff)
Impact of $4.6 Million Reductionto the 2013 Jacksonville Public Library Budget:A Closer Look
Mayor Brown has submitted a budget to the City Council containing $4.6 million in cuts to the operatingexpenses of the
Jacksonville Public Library’s budget
for 2013. This amounts to an 11% decrease in the
total budget (from $38.2M in FY
’12 to $33.9 M in FY ’13
). Following are some of theramifications of these cuts (the gray boxes contain comments from
customer feedback survey):
The 21 libraries will lose 264 hours each week
of service to the public,
24% of theiroperating hours
(a reduction from 1,112 to 848 hours per week).
Only Main will be open six days per week; all other will be locations open fivedays per week.
No libraries will be open on Sundays and most libraries will be closed onMondays.
No locations will be open in the morning and evening on the same day.
“I am particularly pleased with [the] Sun
day hours. This was quite helpfulwhen meeting with a class group to collaborate on group
-- January8, 2012
The materials budget will be reduced by $500,000
, resulting in:
10,000 fewer copies of new books for adults
5,000 fewer copies of new books for children and teens
1,000 fewer new DVDs
560 fewer new music CDs
The materials budget will be
what it was in 2005
, the first year in which all currentlibraries were operational.
The library’s core products are its collection: books, e
-books,music, research databases and movies. Continuous budget cuts and the growing cost ofmaterials to libraries make it increasingly difficult to offer a collection that is relevant to thecommunity.Last year, library materials were checked out nearly 9 million times.Customers will have fewer opportunities to check out materials. We estimate as many as
1.3million fewer items will be borrowed
In 2011, customers used library computers for 1.1 million sessions.
In a recentUniversity of Washington study (called IMPACT), 53% of survey respondents inJacksonville reported that access to library computers was
important to them.Fewer library hours means fewer chances for people to use computers.
Based oncurrent usage, there would be 189,000 fewer computer sessions available to thepublic if the new schedule goes into effect.
These amounts include internal service charges and indirect costs.
15% of FY11 circulation, as estimated in Library Director
Barbara Gubbin’s budget proposal to the Board.
The estimate is based on a reduction proportional to the loss of one day per week of service, which mostbranches will experience (1 ÷ 6 = 17%). This is a more conservative estimate than the actual reduction in hours ofaccess to computers, which is 24%. While some customers will be able to come at other times, at most locationsother times already have near capacity usage.
“I would like to express my sincere heartfelt appreciation for the courtesies extended
to me during my months of unemployment. The job center provided me theresources to search the web for opportunities, develop a quality resume, as well as
claim my weeks. Each of you played a valuable role …. I am pleased to announce that
I am gainfully employed as a Family Support Worker for Healthy Families of
-- August 2011
For residents with no home computer or Internet access, that means:
More difficulty getting jobs.
The IMPACT study found that 32% of JPLcomputer users are using them for employment related aims. That means asmany as 60,000 times per year Jacksonville residents who
would have 
usedcomputers for this reason will find it more difficult to do so.
Most job openingsare now posted online and most companies only accept job applications online.
“Thank you again for hosting AARP Tax
-Aide si
tes at nine library locations….
During the 2011 tax filing season, 3,777 families received income tax preparationassistance at Jacksonville libraries. They
saved $472,125 in tax preparation fees, …
[and] received Earned Income Tax Credits
… and Child Tax
Credits [totaling$1,383,971]
-- May 2, 2011
More difficulty getting government help.
In addition to the tax assistance citedby the customer above, the only way to apply for unemployment compensation,food stamps, and other government assistance is online. In the IMPACT study,27% of JPL computer users stated that they used computers for eGovernmentpurposes. They will have 50,000 fewer opportunities to do so in 2013.
“I homeschool three out of my four boys…. The library is an extremely impor
tanttool/resource for educating my children and for offering excellent choices for
entertainment that truly help my budget….”
November 9, 2011
More difficulty achieving educational success.
Thirty-seven percent ofcomputer users stated that they used them to further their education (mostlydoing research for a class or completing homework). We expect 70,000 feweruses of library computers for educational purposes in 2013 due to reduced libraryhours.
See Footnote 2 for explanation of total reduction in computer usage expected, 189,000. That figure x 32% = 60,480.
2009 FCC Report: “80% of Fortune 500 companies only accept applications online.” City of Jacksonville only
accepts applications online.
ibid, IMPACT survey. 189,000 x 27% = 51,030
Loss of 189,000 sessions over-all times 37% = 69,930

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