Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Friday, March 18, 2016

FCFCA resolution calls for reversing major cuts in Fairfax County Public Library budget.


Library Budget Resolution for FY2017

 (Adopted by Board March 17, 2016)

The Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations recommends a modest increase to the FY16 Library Advertised Budget to reverse the significant and disproportionate cuts sustained to the library since 2009.   Key priorities include investing in library employees, providing adequate staffing to engage the public and care for the materials collection, and to increase the physical holdings of the library in order to restore Fairfax County Public Library to a world-class facility.
WHEREAS, the federal ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) signed into law December 2015 declares public and school libraries to be essential for public education and worthy of support[1]; and
WHEREAS, the home schooling of children in Fairfax County saves the taxpayers in excess of $31M every year, and those children depend on public libraries to serve as their school libraries, budgeting for their educational library materials must be included in the library budget; and
WHEREAS, the Fairfax County Public Library has had its budget reduced to less than 1% (0.007) of the entire  $3.99B FY2016 County budget; and
WHEREAS, the County’s population and cost of living increases since 2004 necessitates a library budget increase in excess of $10 million to maintain services; and
WHEREAS, the proposed Advertised budget is inadequate to properly service and maintain current collection levels; and
WHEREAS, fourteen FTE (full time equivalent) circulation aide positions with budgeted funds to provide overtime were removed last year; and
WHEREAS, half the library page positions and their associated funding were removed in 2009; and
WHEREAS, library books are being discarded because of lack of adequate staff to shelve them; and
WHEREAS, the print collection has been and continues to be decimated by inappropriate culling with as many discards through the first six months of FY16 as the entire year of FY15 according to library documents provided to the Library Board; and
WHEREAS, the Library Board of Trustees requested an additional $2M to the FY2015 budget to support staff levels and replenish the nonfiction collection diminished by twelve years of excessive culling; and
WHEREAS, the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations included a request for an additional $2M in their library budget resolution for FY2015; and
1.  Resolved, that the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations requests that the Board of Supervisors add $2M to the FY2017 Advertised library budget; and be it further

2.  Resolved, that 14 FTE (full time equivalent) circulation aide positions eliminated in FY2016 and their budgeted funding be restored to avoid cutting library hours; and be it further

3.   Resolved,  that the library page positions eliminated in FY2009 and their budgeted funding be restored; and be it further

4.  Resolved, that appropriate measures to protect and maintain the print collection be enacted by the Board of Supervisors and the Library Board including the elimination of "grubby" lists, elimination of the 24-month low-demand review criteria and replacing it with American Library Association standard 60-month review criteria, allowing volunteers and library staff to mend lightly damaged books, and allowing donated books with less than four copies of each title be added to the library's print collection.

Monday, March 7, 2016

John Oliver takes on special tax districts like Reston's Special Tax District #5

"If you think about it, it's a little weird in a country that talks so much about government accountability that a huge amount of our tax dollars go to fund entities that most of us know absolutely nothing about. .  . Think of a special district like a cult.  It can take your money and you may not even be aware that you are in one."

So sit down, relax, and enjoy this 15-minute John Oliver video on special tax districts, but catch his points even if we don't have most of these problems.   

. . . and for those of you who don't know what Special Tax District #5 is, it is the Reston-only tax district that finances the activities of the Reston Community Center.