Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mark Your Calendars

In case you didn't do it earlier, mark your calendars for THIS SATURDAY at Reston Regional Library. From 10-12, there will be a Community Dialogue Meeting at which the Fairfax County budget shortfalls and the implications for programs such as libraries will be discussed. Due to space limitations, you must register to attend. Libraries have not been well represented by the public in these types of meetings in the past. County administrators interpret that as libraries being a less essential function for the citizens, and make cuts accordingly.

Some months ago, all county agencies were asked to prepare a budget for county executive with a 3% budget cut for FY2011 (beginning in July 2010). This meant finding a way to save about $500,000 more. Near the end of this budget planning, the library system was hit with another, unexpected, request from the county executive. The library and the parks have been asked by the County Executive to submit a proposal for anadditional 15% cut. This would be additive- so our total cut for the year would be 18% (this, of course, in addtion to the 15% cut this year). What this would look like is certainly further hours cuts and staff reductions at all branches, perhaps whole days closed and things like that. It is important to note that this is the county executive's request and is the very beginning of a long and changeable process with the budget culminating the Board of Supervisors final disposition at the end of April next year.

If you haven't registered to attend the meeting, you can do so by going here. You can be sure that several members of the Board of Directors for the Friends of Reston Regional Library will be there -- in our "official" FRRL T-shirts. We'd love to see you there. We'll even have T-Shirts on hand if you want to purchase one for the meeting to show your support for our library. This is important stuff, folks.

Another Option: If you cannot attend the meeting, your opinion can be heard! Go here and fill out the budget suggestion form. Send it electronically and your voice will count! You can reach either of the pages (signing up to attend or opinion page) by going through the Fairfax County Libraries homepage. While you're on the homepage, take a look around at all the library system is doing to provide each segment of the population access to literacy. Explore a little, find something new to try!

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