Governor Jerry Brown of California has proposed a budget for the upcoming year that would get rid of all state funding for public libraries. If passed, the budget would cut $12.9 million from the Public Library Fund, $12.9 million from Transaction Based Reimbursement, and $4.6 million from the California Library Literacty Services Program for a total of $30.4 million.
California public libraries funding would be slashed along with $12.5 billion of other state spending. Governor Brown vouched for his proposal, calling it a “vast and historic” restructuring of government operations and stated that “These cuts will be painful, requiring sacrifice from every sector of the state, but we have no choice”.
Public libraries in California get most of their funding from local taxes, but the blow to the libraries will be huge. No doubt the economy is terrible in California. The budget shortfall will put to the test how important libraries are for the voters. How this is handled in California will definitely have an impact on whether libraries all over the country see their budgets slashed.