Friday, February 26, 2010

County Budget is On the Table

Fairfax County Executive Anthony H. Griffin unveiled his "solutions" to our budget crisis this week. If you want to see the Washington Post article, click here.

If you want to see how the proposals for Fiscal Year 2011 actually break out, you might want to spend some time on the Fairfax County government page by clicking here.

What neither the article or the numerous links on the Fairfax County Government page make clear is how disproportionate and inequitable the budget cuts are. The way they hit the library system are:

Fairfax County Public Libraries (FCPL) represent 1% of the total county budget.
In Fiscal Year 2010 FCPL was asked to cut 15%. They did, and you now have shorter hours, almost no magazines, and fewer staff people. A few months later they were asked to come up with another 3% in cuts.
In Fiscal Year 2011 FCPL is being asked to cut another 15%. That will result in even shorter hours, and even fewer staff.
To date, FCPL has been asked to cut a total of 33%.

Contrast this with many other agencies that have been asked to cut 3%.  No, that is NOT a typo.  THREE PERCENT.

Not only is it inequitable it is stupid! It's like kicking the smallest member of your team around just because he's the smallest -- when you're the one that has kept him small!

If you need real numbers to understand how inequitable this is, these are some of the numbers from the pie chart:

Parks & Libraries (combined) 1.4%
Public Safety    12.3%
Health & Welfare 11%
Fairfax County Public Schools 53.8%

Is there some reason they can't ask ALL agencies to take an 8% cut across the board? 

Questions? Comments? E-mail us.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Activism On Behalf of Libraries

Several of the Friends groups throughout the county library system have banded together to try to help the County Board of Supervisors understand the depth of injury that will be the result of proposed cuts in our budget. They have also advocated that Reston Friends should get involved with this in a more substantial way than we have.

However, our current board members are already wearing multiple hats and none of us feel this is within our ability to add on to our schedules. But that doesn't mean that Reston Friends shouldn't participate. If you are a Friend of Reston Regional Library (or would like to be) and would like to "man" a table collecting petition signatures on behalf of the library budget, or participate in some other way, we'd like to provide you that opportunity. All details are available upon request.

And, if you'd like to attend a Board meeting of Friends of Reston Regional Library, Inc., please feel free. Our next meeting is this Wednesday evening (Feb 24) at 6 p.m. at the library. If you'd like to have a place on the agenda, please contact us ASAP via e-mail.

Thank you!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Washington Post & Fairfax County Public Libraries

If you missed the Metro section of today's Washington Post, it was worth reading. It has an article about the cuts the libraries are facing in the County budget. While the Post focused on the human cost in terms of job elimination, it didn't really express how difficult it will be for those who keep their jobs, but who will be expected to do the jobs that have been eliminated as well.

The Post article also failed to address the inequities of the County budget -- over 54% for the public schools and less than 1% for public libraries? What kind of a formula for success is that?

If you want to read the entire article, go here.

If you can't get it that way, try stopping by the library to read it.  But do that quick, before the subscription to the Post goes the way of the buggy whip.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Children's and Young Adults Sale

The mystery sale was a big success despite the efforts of the weather to put us off!  Thanks to all who stopped by and participated!

The next big event to put on your calendar is the

Children's and Young Adults' Sale

March 20-21
Meeting Room 2
Regular Library Hours

No backpacks, child carriers or large containers
There will be limits per household for the first several hours at least the first day.
Stay tuned for more details.

Friday, February 12, 2010


The Library is OPEN today, Friday, February 12!  If the snow kept you inside and you couldn't get out to purchase a good book for your Valentine, stop by the sale today through Sunday.  We have all kinds of mysteries and adventures -- and since no one has been here to shop, the selection is still AMAZING!  We take cash and checks and our prices are very reasonable!

While you're here, pick up some good library books to keep you warm in case . . . well, you know.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Let UPS do the Hard Stuff

Not only do we not want to get out in the snow and muck today, but the Library is closed.

"Oh No!" you exclaim.  "I'm down to my last two books!"

Never fear!  Go to RestonFriends1, our Amazon storefront, order what you want, and let UPS do the hard stuff in delivering!  Right now there is a LOT to choose from!

Great Courses (prices vary, see the website)
Black Holes
Masters of Greek Thought
The Louvre
Dark Matter
Emerson & Thoreau
Between the Rivers: Mespotamia
                    and others!

Raymond Blanc, A Taste of My Life $42

Reata: Legendary Texas Cooking ($21.50)

Simply Soup ($26)

Take the chill off and benefit the Reston Regional library at the same time!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Since you're home anyway . . .

A reader (I hope he's a reader of the blog), asked us to publicize the fight to save the library's already-meager funding.  This blog has posted on this issue before, but if there's any hope of success, it's worth giving you more specific ways to act.  As we contemplate what storm removal is doing to the state and local budgets, this becomes more urgent than ever.

Here is what the reader sent:

It would be very helpful if you would include links to some of the advocacy on behalf of the library system on your blog.
Links to any of the recent news articles.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Library is CLOSED

The Fairfax County Government Website says the libraries are CLOSED on Monday.

If you're spending this snowy time sorting your books out for donation, please hang onto them until we're open again.

If you're spending this snowy time reading the books you bought on Friday at the Mystery & Adventure sale, we hope you're enjoying them.

GOOD NEWS! We'll extend the sale through the week -- we'll open up when the library opens up.

Please do not return library materials until libraries reopen. Materials due February 5 through 10 are now due on Tuesday, February 16. No late fees will be charged for the dates the library is closed.  If you wonder why the library system is being so benevolent, look at this photo:

This is very bad for the books . . . 

And the last bit of good news -- if you're desperate for something cool to read, you can always check out the Library website.  It is full of good information on what's available through the library.  And some of it is available without ever having to set foot outside your front door!  How cool is that?  All you need is a library card!




Saturday, February 6, 2010

Wordzzle Saturday No More

The three of us from Friends of Reston Regional Library who have been doing wordzzles want to thank Raven and Dr. John and the Dragons, and Argent, and Pixie and everyone else who plays for being so gracious in your praise of our past efforts.  We have enjoyed stretching our brains and reading your submissions each week.

We joined in attempting to get our Friends members to play along, but it did not prove to be a lasting marriage with anyone else, so we have decided to use our time doing other things, like sorting books, pricing books, selling books, and cleaning our houses.  Okay, not that last one, but the book stuff anyway.

Thanks everyone!

Kit, Charly and the Blogger

Sorry for the delay in linking this today.  We have been without power since 3 this morning.  It finally just came back on.  Thank you Lord for HEAT!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mystery Sale is ON

Today's the day! The mystery sale at Reston Regional Library begins today!  This is also the day that Fairfax County has preemptively closed the schools in anticipation of the Great Snow.  So . . . the sale will begin at 10, and will continue until the library closes (whenever that may be).  The County Website says that the libraries will be open today, but to call ahead before visiting.

If we run out of "open days" before we run out of great mystery books, don't despair.  We will continue the sale a little longer next week to make sure you have a chance to stock up on your favorites!

Mark your calendars for March 20-21 as well which is when we'll have our Childrens & Young Adult Sale.  No, we're not selling children or young adults (although after all these snow days some parents might be tempted!).  Instead, we'll sell the kinds of books one would purchase for them instead. More details later

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

'Snow Mystery

It'snow mystery that we have the best donations in the county.  And in the area of mysteries, we're returning them to you in the form of a mystery sale.  Beginning the 5th, we'll have an abundant display, a friendly cashier, downright plummy prices, and restocking throughout.  Any kind of mystery and adventure book you're looking for might be in this harvest, so stop by during regular library hours.

You might wonder whether the mystery sale pulls off a lot of books from the Semi-Annual sale, making the mystery genre there much sparser.  The answer is NO.  Actually, the reason these special mini-sales evolve is because we are often GENEROUSLY blessed with more than we can display during a Semi-Annual sale.  If the amount reaches a critical point, we start pulling off for a more topic-specific mini.

So there you go!  Our excess is your gain!  Stop by to see us!  Stock up for the snow.  Again.  Looks like it's going to be a LONG winter.