From yesterday’s Times-Standard two verbatim letters to the editor regarding a Board of Supervisors meeting today.
Serious concerns about proposed library budget
I am writing to you because I am VERY concerned about the budget problems of our public library. I understand there is a proposed budget that saves money in part by cutting staff in the library’s Public Services department that will severely affect the ability of our library system to provide the important public services Humboldt County residents get from our library. I also understand that this proposed budget would first be presented to the Board of Supervisors at a public hearing on April 25. This proposed budget will cut important positions including the public services manager position, which will severely reduce the library’s ability to be a library that provides many kinds of information services. For a library the size of Humboldt County Library, the staff is already small with many positions cut or left unfilled over the last several years resulting in a workload that is already heaving in all departments. Other positions to be cut now include the part time fiction buyer, a critical task. Why are crucial positions being cut, with no plans on how those tasks are to be fulfilled in the future, rather than making, for example, smaller across the board cuts for all departments and positions? Please join me in contacting the Board of Supervisors to encourage them to become involved in saving vital service functions of our crucial and important library, rather than just accepting this proposed budget that will be so damaging to critical information services.
Emily Siegel, LCSW, Eureka
Dear supervisors: Libraries do not need more cuts
It has come to my attention that there is a proposal to cut funds for the library’s 2016-17 budget year. This will be going to the Board of Supervisors April 25 at their 1:30 p.m. meeting. Having been a library patron since learning to read, I find that this is not acceptable. I hope other supporters of the library will try to attend this meeting on Monday. The board needs to hear from you.
Carol Kinser, president, Friends of the Fortuna Library
Our libraries are a critical component of an improved quality of life for all of us, in other words a critical aspect of our public sphere. They have suffered enough cuts in the past decades and this needs to stop.
Unlike the funding darling de-jour, libraries do not have a direct link to public safety concerns, but if we continue to gut our commons, the ultimate result will be a need to spend more and more money to keep those who haven’t kept up with the economy locked up or shipped away.
Supervisor Bass and peers, please don’t make any more cuts to our libraries.