It’s a great time to show your library some love.
A recent national media article has chronicled the devastating effects of budget cuts to U.S. public libraries, noting that many are currently threatened with staff cuts, reduced hours and even branch closings. It seems incomprehensible, but libraries are not immune to the cutbacks facing so many other vital services and institutions in our communities.
At KDL, most of our budget (87 percent) comes directly from taxpayers like you, through your property taxes. When property values decline, so does our funding. Additional cuts anticipated at the state level next year could amount to an added loss of $1.1 million in revenue for KDL. These cuts come as patrons are using KDL’s services even more due to the tough economy. If Governor Snyder’s plan to eliminate personal property taxes for businesses is approved without some form of replacement funds for libraries, cuts that are happening at other public libraries will happen here too.
We have worked hard to keep past cuts from impacting those services most valued by our patrons. Still, you have likely noticed fewer copies of books on the shelves, a decreased number of library employees at your local branch, or perhaps we no longer offer a program you have come to enjoy. While we remain dedicated to providing you with the very best service possible no matter the financial circumstances, we could use your help to preserve the library services you love.
I’ve listed below a few simple things you can do to support the library:
- Donate to the KDL Fund. No gift is too small!
- Write your legislator. Your message can be as simple as: “I love my library. Replace, don’t erase, the personal property tax.”
- Be an advocate. Tell your friends and family about KDL, the great services we provide and what the library means to you.
- Continue to use the library. Whether you come through our doors or use services on our website, the more you use KDL, the more you prove that libraries remain an invaluable community resource.
As director of KDL, I plan to loudly voice my intention to preserve public libraries for our generation and for many more to come. Please join me.