Friday, March 25, 2011

Talking Points for Library Legislative Day March 28

If you are attending Library Legislative Day at the State House on Monday, March 28, or, if you are unable to attend, but will be contacting your legislator (and we hope that is all of you), the Western Massachusetts Library Advocates have identified some talking points of concern to libraries in the western part of the Commonwealth.

Ask your legislators to:

1. At least match the Governor's budget of level-funding for the MLS.
Funding is needed for account 7000-9401 (Regional Libraries). This account enables the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) to provide critically important library support services for libraries statewide.

2. Maintain the budget language that ensures the maintaining of a physical presence for the MLS in Western Massachusetts. Make sure they understand that most of our libraries do not have meeting rooms with adequate parking for workshops and discussions on a regular basis. Also, the computer training center at the Whately office is a unique resource that is handicapped accessible and always available for regular training. There are only two public library computer labs in Hampden County. The excellent academic and school labs are only intermittently available due to the demands of their primary ‘student’ clientele. Library staff need readily accessible, updated computer training to be able to serve their users. Budget line: 7000-9401.

3. Write into the budget the addition of a consultant staffer who would be located exclusively in the Western office, and would be dedicated to working with and supporting the libraries in our area.

4. Help us to ensure that the new statewide delivery system will not be scheduled purely by volume. A delivery that drops off and picks up 20 items/week to a small library is as important to that library as 20 bins to a larger library. If delivery service is only assigned by volume, western Mass libraries could experience a significant drop in delivery service as the new system could potentially disproportionately serve the more populous areas of the state.
It is important that the new delivery system not penalize smaller libraries with fewer delivery items by requiring them to follow different procedures to receive delivery, particularly if those procedures are more labor-intensive than for other libraries. Many small communities do not have convenient access to commercial shippers, or even a Post Office. Requiring them to package and ship items individually is a burden on the smallest, most understaffed libraries in the Commonwealth.

Remember to advocate! Legislators cannot support us if they don't know what our libraries need.

No comments:

Post a Comment