Target: Governor Bobby Jindal
Goal: Add state funding for Louisiana’s libraries to next year’s budget.
The Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, recently signed a budget that eliminates $1 million in aid to Louisiana state libraries, claiming that in tight budget times, money for health care and education is prioritized. It is expected that local funding would provide money and aid to libraries to keep them going.
While this works for libraries in larger cities, smaller towns cannot fund their libraries. The money the state provided was often used to update technology, software, and existing books. In some cases, these towns are so small that most people don’t own computers. Since everything from job applications to social security and food stamps is conducted online, the members of these towns go to the library to use the computers there. Some people use the computers to keep in contact with family members overseas and in the military.
These towns are crossing their fingers and cutting back on buying new books or updated reference books so they will have money to support their technology if and when it breaks down. Computers and their peripherals are expensive, but are a necessary cost nowadays to get anywhere in the Western world, and not updating a reference collection or buying newly released books comes at the cost of their children not having the latest information when needed in school.
Ask the Louisiana government to reevaluate their budget for next year, and provide money for at least the rural libraries who really have nowhere to turn to for funding. Our libraries are still an important asset to any town, and a necessary expense for any state’s budget.
Governor Bobby Jindal,
Rural Louisiana libraries are often the only place citizens of small towns can access a computer. Everything from job applications to banking is conducted online these days, and the library provides a place for people who wouldn’t need a computer otherwise to conduct their business. Previously, Louisiana libraries used state funding for updating and maintaining their computers and software. However, with the budget cuts that reduce state funding to zero, they will no longer have this money.
You have stated that libraries are expected to get funding from local sources, but what about the small rural libraries, where there is no funding? These libraries are the only resource for updated technology and reference material, and now they have to hope that their equipment doesn’t break down, and also must cut down on new book acquisition to make their budget stretch. You say that the budget has to be tight and health care and education spending have to be prioritized, but libraries are an important part of education.
Please take a good look at next year’s budget, and find some money to fund these rural libraries. They will not be able to survive much longer without state funding, and to lose them would be an enormous loss to the citizens that benefit from those libraries.
[Your Name Here]