Councilmembers Probe Mayor’s Proposed Library Budget

The Library presented the Mayor’s proposed library budget today in Seattle City Council Chambers. All Councilmembers were present. There was strong interest and several keen questions. Councilmembers probed how sufficient the budget proposal was for collections, security, and building maintanence. There were shortfalls in all areas. Most concerning for patrons was the collections budget. When pressed, Interim City Librarian, Marilynne Gardner, said the ideal budget for collections is 7.8 million in ’09 and 8 million in 2010. Mayor Nickels did increase the collections budget but came in at only 5.6 million leaving a gap of 2.2 million dollars. See the 40 minute presentation with Q and A at the Council’s Webcasts:  http://www.seattle.gov/council/budget/2008/3departmental_presentations.htm

Video is available here:

http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=2060828

The Mayor gave the library a $500,000 increase for collections however that was an increase over his proposed 2007 budget rather than what the library was actually awarded last year. City Council increased the Mayor’s 2007 budget by 2 million dollars last year when patrons complained that hold queues were far too long.

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