DISCOVER YOUR PUBLIC LIBRARY
Alas, we hoped it wouldn’t happen -- again! In 1993, your library
sustained a severe financial blow in the form of the county
We were forced to close one full day a week, shorten hours other
days and slash the book budget by 90%. This year, we’re facing a
flagging national economy and our state’s multibillion-dollar
shortage. I don’t know if it is noticeable yet to our patrons, but
our new book shelf is considerably more sparse because the library
materials budget has again been reduced drastically.
Not since the bankruptcy have I seen a budget so slim -- past
slim, all the way to anorexic. We were forced to reduce our magazines
by 25% and our book budget was reduced 70%, from $70,000 in 2001 to
$21,000 this year.
We used to receive 30 to 40 new books a week; now we receive 8 or
10. Unless a book is a bestseller, we probably will not buy it.
And not all branches will receive a copy of a bestseller. This
will mean longer waits. Other titles we would ordinarily buy will not
be bought at all.
Rental best sellers will fill in some of the gap, but we will buy
even fewer of those pay-as-you-read titles.
However, our situation is not quite as dire as it might otherwise
be because we have friends, and I do mean VERY SPECIAL FRIENDS!
With gratitude to our dedicated Friends of the Library and the
money their bookshop raises, we now have an additional $20,000 with
which to purchase books. Also, we are asking the community to donate
new or gently used books, videos, CDs and books on tape to the
Whether it is purchasing literary treasures in the Friends
bookshop, dropping coins in the “Children’s House” on the front desk
or donating books to the library, our patrons’ support is the “wind
beneath our wings.” Thank you.
* MARIANNA HOF is the Laguna Beach branch librarian.