CALL TO ACTION:

To ALL Library Supporters,

It's time.

Time to get your local libraries involved, speaking to their local officials about state library funding.  Please, call your key people. Call your Friends group. It's time.

Here are the details - the links are below for helping finding legislators and telling them how much libraries do for library users.

Library Issues & State Budget

Late last week the House and Senate completed preliminary proposed budgets including funding for library programs.  They will continue work in the coming days before voting on their respective budgets before the budget conference process. Here is the current status.

House

-  State Aid to Public Libraries - $22,298,834, the same as this year.

-  Public Library Construction - $7.5 million, funding all 15 of the approved projects on the State Library's list presented to the legislature.

-  Library Cooperatives - $2 million, the amount necessary to fund each of the 5 multitype library cooperatives at the $400,000 maximum authorized in statute

-  Smart Horizons Online High School Library Program - Neither the House nor Senate included funding for the coming year.  $750,000 was appropriated for the current year

Click here for the House bill.

Senate

-  State Aid to Public Libraries - The Senate proposes $30,251,785 but this amount includes $7,952,951 for a Public Library Technology Grant Program to be administered by the State Library so the State Aid proposal is $22,298,834, the same as the House and the current year.  Proviso language establishing the Technology Grant Program is provided below.

-  Public Library Construction - The Senate proposes $5,880,000 that funds the first 11 projects on the State Library's list. 

-  $100,000 for a Parkland Library Master Plan Expansion in Broward County.

-  The Senate bill also includes $250,000 for a CreationStation Digital Learning Labs in the Palm Beach County Library System 

-  Smart Horizons Online High School Library Program - Neither the House nor Senate included funding for the coming year.  $750,000 was appropriated for the current year

Click here for the Senate bill.

Senate Bill Proviso

From the funds in Specific Appropriation 3127, $7,952,951 in 385 FLORIDA SENATE - 2017 (PROPOSED BILL) SPB 2500

SECTION 6 - GENERAL GOVERNMENT nonrecurring general revenue is provided to the department for the Library Technology Grant Program. The Department of State shall create a matching grant program for public libraries to apply for funding based on a 1:1 matching ratio. Eligible uses of grant funds include: expanding services for learning and access to information and educational resources for individuals of all ages; developing library services that provide all users access to information through local, state, regional, national, and international electronic networks; creating centers for simulations and audio/video recording; providing centers for homeschooling, small business conference and training rooms, and creating partnerships with CareerSource Florida, Inc., the Regional Workforce Boards, the Small Business Development Center, and other entities to provide small business guidance and assistance with new and emerging business issues. The department may grant funds to entities meeting these eligibility requirements in an amount up to $500,000 per entity annually.

Senate Bill Proviso

From the funds in Specific Appropriation 3127, $7,952,951 in 385 FLORIDA SENATE - 2017 (PROPOSED BILL) SPB 2500

SECTION 6 - GENERAL GOVERNMENT nonrecurring general revenue is provided to the department for the Library Technology Grant Program. The Department of State shall create a matching grant program for public libraries to apply for funding based on a 1:1 matching ratio. Eligible uses of grant funds include: expanding services for learning and access to information and educational resources for individuals of all ages; developing library services that provide all users access to information through local, state, regional, national, and international electronic networks; creating centers for simulations and audio/video recording; providing centers for homeschooling, small business conference and training rooms, and creating partnerships with CareerSource Florida, Inc., the Regional Workforce Boards, the Small Business Development Center, and other entities to provide small business guidance and assistance with new and emerging business issues. The department may grant funds to entities meeting these eligibility requirements in an amount up to $500,000 per entity annually.

The link to see your Representative in the Florida House

The link to see your Florida Senator

Or, just use the very wonderful system that ALA provides called ENGAGE.  Go to ENGAGE on the FLA website, put in your zip code (and your full address to get your local legislators), and you will be provided a list of your specific contacts and ways to get in touch with them. Faye Roberts and Dawn Pollock have worked hard to get this system up and working for us!

ENGAGE is at http://cqrcengage.com/alafl/home.

 

Sincerely,
Laura I. Spears, MSLIS, PhD
FLA Legislative Committee Chair