Fairfax County Public Library is an educational agency that provides services to ALL members in the community from preschoolers to seniors. At the present time approximately 50% of Fairfax County and Fairfax City residents own a library card.
Though only 24% of County households have children in the public schools and more than 50% of residents have a library card - the libraries face a 1/3 cut of their entire budget over a 2 year period. This in spite of the fact that the libraries cost less than $30 per resident per year while the schools cost $1700 per resident.
Although FCPL receives only 0.09% of the general revenue fund the budget was cut by 18% in FY 2010 (current fiscal year). The results;
- Reduction in the hours of operation (8 hours per week)
- The elimination of 306 part time employees
- One million dollar reduction in the collection materials budget (Fairfax County spends less per resident on libraries than any other library system in the DC Metro area).
- New fees and fines to cover the cost of delivering books to branches
In September 2009 the County Executive requested a 15% budget reduction proposal from the Library and Parks/Recreation Agencies for FY 2011. All other agencies are projecting a 3% to 5% budget reduction. A 15% budget cut in library funding in FY 2011 will result in;
- Additional reduction in the hours of operation (8 hours per week)
- Elimination of 107 full time / part time employees (the library will account for 28% of all proposed layoffs).
- Elimination of reference and program service on the weekends
- Elimination of home delivery service to persons with disabilities and book deposits to nursing homes, assisted living and adult care centers
In support of education the library materials collection for elementary and secondary students is selected based on the Virginia Standards of Learning. The library is accessible to students for study and research when public schools are not open. The library provides the only computer access some public school students have to complete their homework assignments.
Libraries help build a strong economy. In November 2009 the unemployment rate in Fairfax County was 4.5%. Many employers have transitioned to online employment applications. Libraries provide the only access some people have to computer technology.
At the rate they are being cut the Fairfax libraries will cease to exist after a few more budget cycles. Show your support for public libraries by signing this petition and by sending a message to your District County Supervisor requesting a more equitable distribution of budget cuts in FY 2011; http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government/board/
Thank you for your support!
Friends of Fairfax County Public Library
The FCPL Summer Reading Program encourages children and young adults to read when public schools are closed. Fairfax County Public Library Summer Reading Program in FY 2009 attracted 48,800 children who read more than 325,000 books.
FCPL Talking Book service mails audio books and equipment to individuals who are unable to read or use standard print due to blindness, visual impairment, or other physical limitations that make it difficult to visit a public library.