Funding for Florida Library Cooperatives Vetoed

A c t i o n N e e d e d : P l e a s e W r i t e t h e G o v e r n o r ! Explain to Governor Scott why Multitype Library Cooperatives (MLCs) are important to you, your library and your community!
Governor Scott vetoed MLC funding for 2012-13. This loss of funds will hurt severely in the fiscal year beginning October 1. The funding can’t be restored this year, but Florida libraries badly need it to be restored for 2013-14. Please write Governor Scott and tell him why you believe that Florida’s Multitype Library Cooperatives are valuable – make it personal, and ask him to include funding for them in his 2013-14 Budget Recommendations. Office of Governor Rick Scott State of Florida The Capital 400 Monroe St. Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001 You can e-mail Governor Scott from his website at:
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Please, write the governor, and ask your boards and friends groups to do so too! And please keep it positive! We need to show the Governor why he would want to recommend funding. Here’s the story On April 17 when Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the state budget bill and presented his veto list, funding for Florida’s Multitype Library Cooperatives was eliminated. This came as quite a surprise because there had been no indications that the Governor had any concerns with the funding or how it is used. The Library Cooperative Grant program was established in law by the legislature in 1992, (F.S. 257.40 – 43) and has been continuously funded since 1993. Funding was proposed for 2012-13 by the Florida Department of State which administers the program using a formal application and review process with thorough reports and audits. The program is an integral part of the provision of library service to Floridians. It supports interlibrary loan of materials among libraries across the state, administers the Ask-A-Librarian reference service, and provides critically needed training for library staff. The Library Cooperative Grants are necessary for the cooperatives’ operation and without this or replacement funding, the cooperatives will go away. The Governor has been supportive of public libraries, the First Lady’s support for reading is well known and respected, and since the legislature actually approved an increase from $1 to $1.5 million to enable the cooperatives to support library e-book services, library advocates were quite surprised by the veto. Florida has five regional organizations that rely on these funds. All five are non-profit organizations with memberships and elected boards. Their combined service areas include all 67 counties. The Library Cooperatives’ funding comes from a variety of sources including federal funds sub-granted by the Florida Department of State’s Division of Library and Information Services, member dues, sale of services, and the Library Cooperative Grants. Federal funds are used to support specific services but Library Cooperative Grant funds from the state are necessary for basic operations. These Cooperative Grants make up as much as ½ of the funding of the smaller Cooperatives. Florida’s Library Cooperatives provide services to all kinds of libraries including academic, public, school, and specialized. While some services are provided directly to the public, most enhance the ability of libraries to serve their users better.

Services with direct public impact include the Statewide Delivery Service that moves Interlibrary Loan materials from library to library in response to customer need, and Ask a Librarian, a virtual reference service allowing Floridians to obtain information from librarians via chat, text, or e-mail. Continuing education provided to library staff by Cooperatives has an indirect benefit for the public. With rapidly changing technology and information, it’s vitally important to keep library staff current and up to speed so they can do things like provide the public with popular e-books and help them figure out how to load content on their readers. The Library Cooperatives also help libraries participate in Interlibrary Loan in a variety of ways. They help libraries maintain their records in a national database so their books can be discovered by those needing them and requested. Some manage subscriptions for record loading and Interlibrary Loan, and they all provide training for library staff. Some Cooperatives provide group purchasing plans or negotiate discounts for members. In short, Cooperatives play an important role in the provision of library services to Floridians. If they are not around, another way will have to be found to provide the services. Library Cooperatives can’t survive long without state funding. Library advocates will be working to demonstrate the cooperatives’ value to Governor Scott and to persuade him to recommend funding in his 2013-14 budget proposal. Value of MLC’s - Library Books Are Moved Around the State Cheaply - MLCs coordinate Florida’s statewide library delivery service that moves over 435,000 library items annually. Savings over U.S. Mail – $750,000! - Floridians Are Served by Well Trained Library Staff - MLCs train over 11,000 library staff each year, primarily to help people use computers. Market value – $1.4 million! - Floridians Receive Books & Materials from All Over the State - MLCs help connect libraries through statewide interlibrary loan that shares more than 300,000 library items each year! – Value of loans – $7.5 million! - Florida Library Jobs & Jobs in Florida Libraries – These web sites connect Florida libraries with jobs with job seekers. Employers use the sites to post positions. Job seekers use them to post resumes and search for positions. In 2010-2011, 224 position postings generated 446,425 searches by job seekers. - Reciprocal Borrowing Lets Floridians Check Out Books in Other Communities – MLCs support agreements allowing residents to use libraries in other communities without charge. Libraries in the TBLC area alone lend over 500,000 items. Value of TBLC sharing – $12.5 million! - Floridians Can Find Materials in All Florida Libraries – MLCs help libraries add their titles to the Florida Catalog’s 20 million items for Floridians to find and borrow. - Floridians of All Ages Can Use the Florida Electronic Library 24/7 - MLCs partner with the State Library & Archives of Florida promoting the FEL.

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