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Buffalo... what the HELL? - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Buffalo... what the HELL?
I was born and bred in western New York, specifically Buffalo, for generations. It's a city with tons of economic problems, but somehow, it built one of the finest libraries I've had the pleasure to be a member of... no matter how bad its finances were. Now, they're talking about slashing the budget 80% and closing pretty much all the branches.

http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20041115/1062516.asp

Can I even express how bizarre this is? Okay--so you're in dire economic straits. Let's... I know, CUT JOBS! Break down access to information for people seeking employment! Oh, and while we're at it, let's just chop city morale off at the knees and watch it bleed to death in the street! Won't that be fun?

Now, libraries, like schools, tend to be threatened whenever someone wants to raise taxes. It's a scare thing--"Vote for the increase, or something you love dies bloody." Which, if it's not voted for, puts a lot of valuable city services in jeopardy. I don't know who mismanaged the budget that badly, but please. Ach. I'm going to write to my godmother and one of my mother's friends (and my godfather and his wife if I can find their e-mail), who still live in Buffalo, and try to figure out what's going on. My inclination is that it's still at the scare tactic point--they went through a few milder phases of this several times while I worked there--but this is just...

I'll just repeat, what the hell?

:claws out:

I don't know exactly what a broke librarian in Massachusetts can do, but there has to be something.
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Comments
versinae From: versinae Date: November 15th, 2004 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I lived across the street from a library until I was three. My mother utterly ruined my 1 year old birthday cake, apparently, and there just happened to be a bake sale at the library the morning of the party and she bought an entire cake that was supposed to be cut into slices to be sold individually and we had that instead. So have a bake sale! Small children and culinarily challenged mothers everywhere will thank you.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2004 05:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, a budget shortfall of that amount would be a whole lot of gingerbread, but what the heck? A little bootstrap funding couldn't hurt!
ivylore From: ivylore Date: November 15th, 2004 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow! That's awful. Horrible!!!!!!

Are libraries in the States federally funded Fern at all?

In Canada that would be... against the law actually. Any town/hamlet/whatever have you must have a library with internet access. Every single one. It's one of the few things that makes traveling up North easier.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2004 05:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's some federal funding, and state funding for some libraries (libraries of last recourse, mainly), but for the most part, libraries are funded by counties or cities. In Albuquerque, there's an actual question on the ballot as to whether or not people want to keep funding the library. Someday, they'll say no. In Buffalo, it's just part of the city budget.

And yes, it should be illegal.
siegeofangels From: siegeofangels Date: November 15th, 2004 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know exactly what a broke librarian in Massachusetts can do, but there has to be something.

Well, you do have access to All The Information, Muahaha. You could always take over the world.

*pictures army of librarians marching on Buffalo in sensible shoes*

Really. I'll mobilize my mom and sister for you.

I'm sorry about the libraries. Broke grad students in DC can't do anything but crack jokes, apparently.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: November 15th, 2004 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cracking jokes is good, too.

And (per your icon), maybe old Lucius would be useful...
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