Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Daily Union Series on Public Libraries and the Elimination of Maintenance of Effort

Jefferson's Bubolz strives to preserve library budgets. (Jefferson County Daily Union, 8/2/2011)

Excerpt:  Editor's note:  This is the first in a series on how local libraries are reacting to changes in the state budget which cut state assistance to certain programs and which allows municipalities to cut library budgets by any amount, as opposed to the limited cuts dictated by the now-eliminated Maintenance of Effort statute.)

Jocelyn Bu­bolz, director of the Jefferson Public Library, has taken a very active role in spreading the word about changes to the state budget that affect libraries.

As soon as she found out about the provisions in the proposed budget, she began speaking out and writing letters.

First, she made information available to local library patrons, to make sure they knew about some of the measures that were buried within the budget proposal. She also contacted legislators, both the local ones and those from her home district, and she even wrote to the governor.

The Jefferson librarian said she contacted all of the area legislators and those in key decision-making positions.

"I truly appreciate Andy Jorgensen's attention to this issue," Bubolz said of the local state representative, from Fort Atkinson. "He received about 4,000 calls from constituents and he still managed to get back to me more than once."

Until WiscNet was restored to the budget, she alerted patrons and decision-makers how the elimination of the library and school Internet service would impact local library budgets, and the services they would be able to provide.

With WiscNet restored, she focused her efforts on what she considered the most egregious of the remaining changes, the elimination of the "Maintenance of Effort" statute.

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