Thursday, May 28, 2009

Support NJ Public Libraries-YOU DID IT!

New Jersey Public Libraries face drastic cuts, please read below

From the New Jersey Library Association:

As you know, Senator Brian Stack (D-Hudson and mayor Union City) has introduced
S. 2775 which would reduce the minimum funding for municipal libraries to 1/6 mil from 1/3 mil of the equalized valuation of the real property. This is very devastating legislation.

NJLA ( New Jersey Library Association, activated its legislative alert system through Capwiz ( a service which allows you to send a message directly to your state senator).

The alert is at:

So far approximately 1900 messages have been sent but we still need more. If you have not sent your message please do so today.

We urge you to also forward this message other library supporters.. Many of you have Facebook pages so please forward this to your contacts.

If you have had a response from your local Senator to your email, please let me know. For example, Senator Marcia Karrow has already said she would not support the bill. It is important that we know what the legislators are saying.

Senator Stack represents District 33. The two Assemblypersons in this District have now signed onto the A3753 ( the Assembly bill).They are Assemblyman Ruben Ramos and Assemblywoman Caridad Rodriguez. We don’t believe that the addition of these sponsors means that there is widespread support in the Assembly for this legislation.

The library community, however, must do everything it can to see that this bill does not more forward. Get involved. Attend the NJLA Public Policy Forum on June 5 ( see below).

Check out the ( on the front of our website). On Friday, had an article entitled “Towns fill budget gaps with surplus library funds.” On Sunday, the Record also had an extremely supportive editorial against S2775.

A message from the NJ State Librarian Norma Blake regarding the NJ State budget. “Last week the NJ State Library received from the Office of Management and Budget another directive to give suggestions as to where they can take an additional $1,606,000 from the library FY2010 budget, bringing our total projected cut to $3,564,000. The suggestions were very difficult to make. However, we have tried to spread the budget cuts across a number of areas of the library budget, including cuts to the State Library, to minimize the impact on any one program. There is no guarantee that the Office of Management and Budget who makes the cut will follow our suggestions or will allow us to make transfers among budget lines. I will write again as soon as OMB makes their final decision. We have every reason to believe, based on the revenue projects, that this may not be the last library budget cut FY2010. Sincerely, Norma E. Blake, State Librarian, New Jersey State Library.”


I am very happy to forward the message we received from JoAnne Serrano, president of the library board of Hoboken Library. JoAnne was contacted by Senator Stack’s office on Friday. They indicated he will “withdraw” S2775 as soon as possible.

This is absolutely wonderful news. We have removed the “capwiz” legislative alert from out website. Over 2200 messages were sent to legislators regarding S2775 through this site.

We also want to thank the NJ State Library which called public libraries to encourage them to contact their legislators regarding this bill.

This has been an outstanding advocacy effort by the entire library community. I particularly want to thank the library community of Hoboken who are represented by Senator Stack in District 33. The entire library board led by Board President Joanne Serrano, Library Director Lina Podles and the Friends of the Hoboken Library all contacted Senator Stack’s office and told them how detrimental this bill would be for the entire library community.

This demonstrates that local advocacy efforts coupled with electronic resources such as “capwiz” can make our library message known in Trenton.

We certainly hope this is the end of the efforts to reduce library funding to 1/6 mil. Assemblyman Prieto, sponsor of the bill (A3753) on the Assembly side, has told us he will not go forward with the legislation.

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