Mississippi public libraries brace for budget cuts

Feb 11, 2012 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Newms360.com

Gov. Phil Bryant's plan to cut state funding for public libraries leaves the institutions facing tough decisions at a time when patronage has reached an all-time high.

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1 - 20 of 22 Comments Last updated Mar 25, 2012
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“Simple educated country woman”

Since: Dec 11

America

#7 Feb 15, 2012
This is extremely sad. I had such hopes of intelligent life out there.
bgk

Moss Point, MS

#8 Feb 20, 2012
Expect more closures over the coming years.

State funding cuts are just now starting. They've cut 50% of the state budgets since 2007. Expect a further reduction of about the same over the coming few years.
Better Education

Philadelphia, MS

#9 Feb 26, 2012
Libraries and good education programs are so needed in this state.

“Bored and Annoyed”

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#10 Feb 26, 2012
Lord knows I've contributed. Late fee on everything I check out... I refuse to see Corinth's library close. Contrary to popular belief, we have quite a few book nerds in this town. I hopefully doubt we would allow this to happen without a rallying of the troops and some sort of effort to raise the money ourselves. If it comes down to this, count me in.
bgk

Moss Point, MS

#11 Feb 29, 2012
Better Education wrote:
Libraries and good education programs are so needed in this state.
They're cutting spending & laying off teachers.

Try to get even a modest tax increase for schools & ppl refuse to do it. This state is finished. Its better now than it will be in a decade.

The economy isn't getting worse & the manufacturing sector that propped up the state over the last 30 years won't be there after the layoffs continue into this decade
Get real

Meridian, MS

#12 Mar 1, 2012
bgk wrote:
<quoted text>
They're cutting spending & laying off teachers.
Try to get even a modest tax increase for schools & ppl refuse to do it. This state is finished. Its better now than it will be in a decade.
The economy isn't getting worse & the manufacturing sector that propped up the state over the last 30 years won't be there after the layoffs continue into this decade
I agree with you. I don't have kids at home but feel strong education is a must to compete in a world that will by pass those with out an education. I am willing to pay higher taxes for good education. Mississippi is not my home and realize that many have another agenda to not educate their people. You will have the rich go forward and the poor left behind with out a quality education. Sadly, people have to step up to the plate and say they are willing to pay for schools. After moving to Mississippi I have had adults ask me things such as do they have enough stamps on a letter to mail it. I have been asked in the stores for help in finding products because some adults can't read. This generation is a lost generation in regards to education. JUST MY OPINION! I hope people will take notice of what your political leaders are doing and the laws that they are passing in your state. If it doesn't effect you, it will your kids and grand kids! Again, just my opinion.
eric

United States

#13 Mar 1, 2012
Get real wrote:
<quoted text>I agree with you. I don't have kids at home but feel strong education is a must to compete in a world that will by pass those with out an education. I am willing to pay higher taxes for good education. Mississippi is not my home and realize that many have another agenda to not educate their people. You will have the rich go forward and the poor left behind with out a quality education. Sadly, people have to step up to the plate and say they are willing to pay for schools. After moving to Mississippi I have had adults ask me things such as do they have enough stamps on a letter to mail it. I have been asked in the stores for help in finding products because some adults can't read. This generation is a lost generation in regards to education. JUST MY OPINION! I hope people will take notice of what your political leaders are doing and the laws that they are passing in your state. If it doesn't effect you, it will your kids and grand kids! Again, just my opinion.
your opinion is sadly very correct sir! I'm not born and raised in MS either but have consistently been blown away by the aggressive ignorance around here! As a college student I watch my professors attitudes throughout the semester start going downhill or just souring due to those hanging around for no reason other than waiting on a refund check. There are great educators in this state, but not nearly enough students interested in learning and staying in MS to make it better because of the aggressive ignorance resistance.
Get real

Meridian, MS

#14 Mar 1, 2012
eric wrote:
<quoted text>
your opinion is sadly very correct sir! I'm not born and raised in MS either but have consistently been blown away by the aggressive ignorance around here! As a college student I watch my professors attitudes throughout the semester start going downhill or just souring due to those hanging around for no reason other than waiting on a refund check. There are great educators in this state, but not nearly enough students interested in learning and staying in MS to make it better because of the aggressive ignorance resistance.
What can I say, you are correct. Great Post!
educated mom

Savanna, IL

#15 Mar 1, 2012
I have to say I am in the library many times a month, sometimes up to 3 days a week. They have too many idle employees. I see 6-8 employees out front standing or sitting around doing very little. I am not sure how many are in the back offices. I sure hope they cut back on employees and possibly hours before they just shut down entirely.
bgk

Moss Point, MS

#16 Mar 3, 2012
Get real wrote:
<quoted text>I agree with you. I don't have kids at home but feel strong education is a must to compete in a world that will by pass those with out an education. I am willing to pay higher taxes for good education. Mississippi is not my home and realize that many have another agenda to not educate their people. You will have the rich go forward and the poor left behind with out a quality education. Sadly, people have to step up to the plate and say they are willing to pay for schools. After moving to Mississippi I have had adults ask me things such as do they have enough stamps on a letter to mail it. I have been asked in the stores for help in finding products because some adults can't read. This generation is a lost generation in regards to education. JUST MY OPINION! I hope people will take notice of what your political leaders are doing and the laws that they are passing in your state. If it doesn't effect you, it will your kids and grand kids! Again, just my opinion.
The big thing that nobody in this state wants to admit is that its tied to race. The coast props up 40% of the total state budget & yet we're only about 15% of the state's population. Our local shipyard, which is the backbone of our county's employment has recently laid off close to a tenth of its workforce in less than a single year. The IP casino recently laid off about 60 people & other casinos either aren't hiring, are laying off, or are reducing hours.

So when we get laid off -- the rest of the state feels it like a tsunami.

The sad little fact is we're broke down here. And the idiots down here refuse to even recognize reality & that's that we're dependent on the federal govt. The shipyard, the 2 military bases, all the health care spending, the NASA facility in Hancock county -- all that is federal money propping up the region.

And Feds are broke & blowing what money they do have on wars with Muslims we'll never win. Other than shrimping & the casinos we don't really have a lot of non-government industry or business.

The rest of the state is worse off. The Delta and most rural areas are probably 3rd world status with crappy infrastructure, bad schools, etc.

We probably have until the end of this decade or the middle part of the 20s' before all this comes apart. And I don't wanna be here when that happens.

“Simple educated country woman”

Since: Dec 11

America

#17 Mar 3, 2012
So, how do we make it better? What do we do to fix the problem? We, the citizens cannot be dependent upon government to do things for us. We need to solve the problems ourselves and then tell the elected officials what they need to do in our name. We need the libraries in our communities to help with education and to open up worlds and choices for the people. An educated nation is good for all of its citizens. With education come advances in science, medicine, and technology. Not stumbling around in the darkness. Living in the dark does not make a good civilization for anyone. Innovation and invention advances a society where superstition and ignorance does nothing but make people live in fear.
luke

United States

#18 Mar 3, 2012
OMG, just what mississippi needs, read some of these comments on some of these forums. Yeah, lets cut education! We dont need it, we already know EVERYTHING! LOL
bgk

Moss Point, MS

#19 Mar 3, 2012
Granny Grey wrote:
So, how do we make it better? What do we do to fix the problem? We, the citizens cannot be dependent upon government to do things for us. We need to solve the problems ourselves and then tell the elected officials what they need to do in our name. We need the libraries in our communities to help with education and to open up worlds and choices for the people. An educated nation is good for all of its citizens. With education come advances in science, medicine, and technology. Not stumbling around in the darkness. Living in the dark does not make a good civilization for anyone. Innovation and invention advances a society where superstition and ignorance does nothing but make people live in fear.
That 'we don't need to rely on govt' sorta thinking is why we're in this mess in the 1st place. The reason the coast boomed, dunno about other parts of the state -- but in the 70s-90s we had a boom because of govt contracts & related industries & the military.

The govt actually isn't getting bigger. The military got modestly bigger in the past decade & now they're beginning to deflate that balloon. The sad fact is that the govt has shrunk & is continuing to shrink, despite what you might hear from Republicans.

The govt is far smaller, class sizes are larger, teachers are getting laid off, taxes are @ their lowest level on the federal level since the early 20th century.

If we really 'needed to rely on ourselves' it'd take us 100 years to crawl back to where we were a decade ago. People actually do better when there are an abundance of jobs & govt support.

Because a lot of the anti-govt ideology assumes people are smarter than they really are. It takes time, often years to learn a trade or get a college degree & then gain the experience necessary.

When they closed down factories down here they told ppl 'to find a new skillset.' Well hell, that takes time & a lot of money. If you have kids to feed & bills to pay its hard to retrain when retraining involves years of going to college & spending lots of money getting educated....

We don't need less govt involvement, we need more. China has lots of govt-funding of industry & they've had 9% growth for a decade now. We need govt-funding of industry & less war. The amount we blew in Iraq alone was more than enough to fund every library in this state for decades.

We need to move money away from costly wars with crazy nutcases & move back to creating jobs here on the homefront.
eric

United States

#20 Mar 11, 2012
bgk wrote:
<quoted text>That 'we don't need to rely on govt' sorta thinking is why we're in this mess in the 1st place. The reason the coast boomed, dunno about other parts of the state -- but in the 70s-90s we had a boom because of govt contracts & related industries & the military.

The govt actually isn't getting bigger. The military got modestly bigger in the past decade & now they're beginning to deflate that balloon. The sad fact is that the govt has shrunk & is continuing to shrink, despite what you might hear from Republicans.

The govt is far smaller, class sizes are larger, teachers are getting laid off, taxes are @ their lowest level on the federal level since the early 20th century.

If we really 'needed to rely on ourselves' it'd take us 100 years to crawl back to where we were a decade ago. People actually do better when there are an abundance of jobs & govt support.

Because a lot of the anti-govt ideology assumes people are smarter than they really are. It takes time, often years to learn a trade or get a college degree & then gain the experience necessary.

When they closed down factories down here they told ppl 'to find a new skillset.' Well hell, that takes time & a lot of money. If you have kids to feed & bills to pay its hard to retrain when retraining involves years of going to college & spending lots of money getting educated....

We don't need less govt involvement, we need more. China has lots of govt-funding of industry & they've had 9% growth for a decade now. We need govt-funding of industry & less war. The amount we blew in Iraq alone was more than enough to fund every library in this state for decades.

We need to move money away from costly wars with crazy nutcases & move back to creating jobs here on the homefront.
I think what granny gray is saying is we as citizens need to speak up to our elected officials, not handle it ourselves. One step further I think she's saying we could take the initiative to come up with a plan and speak to our officials about it. If I'm wrong please tell me so GG.
Inquiring opens mind

New Orleans, LA

#21 Mar 12, 2012
educated mom wrote:
I have to say I am in the library many times a month, sometimes up to 3 days a week. They have too many idle employees. I see 6-8 employees out front standing or sitting around doing very little. I am not sure how many are in the back offices. I sure hope they cut back on employees and possibly hours before they just shut down entirely.
Due respect, there have been MANY employee cuts. The people you see are often volunteers these days. One of BSL's highest paid employees is in charge of "public relations". Perhaps eliminating jobs like that would help. Libraries aren't just books these days. People use the computers for job seaches, social security problems,a dn more. Not everyone has a computer at home, particularly the less fortunate. People in the county, like the Kiln, may or may not have computers, but they don't have the internet access the library provides. During tax season, AARP volunteers provide free tax service in Waveland and Kiln.
The problem isn't race: it's class.

“Simple educated country woman”

Since: Dec 11

America

#22 Mar 12, 2012
Eric, you are correct in reading my intent.

BGK, people need jobs in order to be successful and prosperous or have the ability to innovate and find a niche where others want to pay them for their abilities. This happens whether you are employee or business owner willing to take the risk. In order to grow business owners need labor. Unfortunately, that labor has shifted to more production oriented methods and mechanisms.

Correct, it does take several years to retrain or get a degree in another field. Unfortunately, there are those that believe “get a job” is all it takes. We never know when that undertow may pull us under and we could be knocked off our feet in the swirling water with the rest of those unemployed.

You say we need more government. In what way do we need more government? People are creative enough to figure out what we need to do. We should not wait on an elected official to tell us what we should do or wait for them to provide a solution to our problems. People have that part backwards today. Unfortunately, there are too many people who are apathetic and some that vote against their own self-interest unable to separate theocratic religion based doctrine and secular law. Voting is not just about being in the voting booth. It is about voting with our feet, our voice, and our dollars.

Ah, the old guns and butter dilemma. Fewer guns and more butter is your premise? The problem in the real world is that we need both guns and butter. Our Constitution provides for both guns and butter.
We cannot turn the clock back no matter how hard we try and become an isolationist nation. Technology has grown much too far for us to throw up fences and shiver in our own back yards hoping that the boogey man won’t get us if we pull the covers up over our heads. We are indeed in a global market place whether or not we like it. We need the skill sets to compete in that global market place. Our children and grandchildren need to be ready to compete with quality education. We need to demand that they are not shortchanged by “good enough” but by excellence.

What does funding of libraries have to do with this rant? The library serves as a basic resource for education. An educated populace is good for the nation. Those who are educated tend to be more creative and innovate. They help to create a better quality of life for the community at large. Those that are educated tend to insist on better schools and better education. Those with more education generally are able to look beyond the basic needs, in the hierarchy of needs, and understand that there is more than mere subsistence and survival. Whereas, if you are only able to meet basic substance needs you are more worried about where our next meal is going to come from and keeping a roof over our heads rather than what is best for the nation as a whole. Community libraries open up the world of art, music, literature, science, technology, business, travel, geography, and how to fix the plumbing to the community stakeholders. It is a resource that should be considered by the community as a necessity. Our forefathers were educated men. They were not poor tenant farmers. This is noted because they could read, write, and sign their names. It also is evident in our Constitution. Their dream of a nation where one could pursue happiness and that we would be able to have both guns and butter…

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
eric

United States

#23 Mar 14, 2012
Agreed, I speak from personal experience and I can promise that my library growing up was my second favorite place to spend time.(the first was a movie theater) I wouldn't be who I am today had it not been for those awesome theater employees letting me into movie after movie for free (and giving me a first job) or the librarians that helped me to find out how movies were made, where Hitchcock got the idea for psycho, where Spielberg came up with Jurassic Park. It was my first introduction to a belief I still hold which is that there is no reason to remain ignorant about anything for long. Period. Back then it was my library, today I carry it around in my pocket. These institutions are necessary to a common good. Not everyone is fortunate enough to carry around the world's information in their pocket, but ANYONE can get a library card. The device that is connected to space and all the knowledge there ever is and was that resides in my hip pocket, was invented by a guy who read a whole lot, probably from a community/government supported library and was educated in a government supported university. We as a community need to speak up for our amazing library staffers, at the very least let's start holding fundraisers for our own library and show Mr. Bryant WE don't need a downsized library. We want a fully staffed library open daily. Perhaps with the proliferation of e-readers we can try to see about getting our library on board with something
like that monetized?
bgk

Moss Point, MS

#24 Mar 17, 2012
Inquiring opens mind wrote:
<quoted text>
Due respect, there have been MANY employee cuts. The people you see are often volunteers these days. One of BSL's highest paid employees is in charge of "public relations". Perhaps eliminating jobs like that would help. Libraries aren't just books these days. People use the computers for job seaches, social security problems,a dn more. Not everyone has a computer at home, particularly the less fortunate. People in the county, like the Kiln, may or may not have computers, but they don't have the internet access the library provides. During tax season, AARP volunteers provide free tax service in Waveland and Kiln.
The problem isn't race: it's class.
You are correct the problem isn't race but class but that's ignoring a very important sociological observation. That's that the 2 races despite all the koombyeya shit you hear, don't really mix outside of work. Sure we work together & sure we go to the same stores. But I was stunned when I visited the areas north of the coast that whites go to 'private academies' & blacks almost 100% of the time are the sole people in public schools.

We're segregated in schooling & churches.

Despite the talk interracial relationships are tolerated but they're not celebrated or viewed as normal. Mixed race children are generally outcasts & aren't really 'approved' or accepted by either side of the family.

Jackson is a prime example of white flight, as are the Memphis suburbs. White people move out to Madison & Rankin Counties & the money flows with them.

Look @ Jackson -- widespread city corruption & incompetence, their city schools literally are failing. The state is about to take them over.

The Metro Mall near Jackson is failing. Why? Because no whites go there. If you look @ cities where white flight occurs you see severe urban decay. Nobody wants to talk about it because nobody wants trouble or they don't want to offend people but everybody knows its there.

Thats a big problem with this state -- & I think a lot of it isn't even intentional or malicious, I think a lot of the white population is pushing their GOP Reps. to cut state spending because its not benefiting them or their relatives. So naturally they want to cut it.

The entire public sector, save police & connected projects are getting cut....
bgk

Moss Point, MS

#25 Mar 20, 2012
Granny -- must respectfully disagree. If you look @ the time periods of when people actually moved up the middle class rungs. It was during that time that the GI Bill was sending young men to college. It was when the federal govt was funding the expansion of the coast economy thru military & NASA spending. It was when they were doing the same in this state with the expansion of the welfare state.

I don't buy this 'WE HAVE TO ADAPT TO THE GLOBALIZED ECONOMY' stuff. Its nonsense. India, China & a slew of other nations have unemployed engineers & tech people who can do what our people here can do for a tenth the cost. The problem isn't that people want too much money, its that we've opened ourselves up too much.

The rich get richer off cheap foreign slave labor & we get shafted.

Dunno, guess we'll have to agree to disagree but I really don't think there's anything wrong with being isolationist. China & Japan both have severe protectionist policies in place & Japan has far lower unemployment than we do & China has been growing @ 9% or higher for over a decade.

If protectionism is a problem then its a pretty nice problem, judging from economic results we see abroad.

Its us -- the free trading morons who hate government mercantile interventionism who are the delusional fools. The free market follows where ever labor is cheapest & that's the 3rd world.

Mercantalist policies got us to where we are now. China has set up subsidies to steal green tech companies & solar panel companies away from us. Fox News screams about Solyndra while China massively subsidizes start ups & pays off US corporations to move their research operations to China. The Chinese govt is doing that -- backing up their industry.

And its working. Our govt isn't backing up our industry save the banks & a few token bailouts for Detroit -- & look what's happening to our industries. Borders folded last year.

From what I'm reading Quiznos is next.

"The govt get out of the way" crowd doesn't seem to get it -- they are out of the way, & that's the problem.

I assume though we'll have to agree to disagree on the topic. Nice speaking with you anyways.

“Simple educated country woman”

Since: Dec 11

America

#26 Mar 21, 2012
bkg, by all means it is fine to disagree. I actually welcome intelligent discussion of ideas and information with others. It is the only way to solve the problem realistically by looking at more than one side of the issue.

Eric, Lectric shave, you, and occasionally Master Blaster are intelligent individuals who are able to convey thoughts through written communication. While I do not possess all of the grammar skills I should, it is a grievous crime that our education system has allowed some of the posters to graduate from high school. Trying to read some of the comments are like trying to wade through almost dried cement. It is painful and you constantly get stuck to understand the point they are trying to make.

We actually agree about many things just some differences. I am actually very curious about your ideas and how to apply an isolationist theory now that the global economy is the proverbial genie out of the bottle. I take it that you are not an Adam Smith fan.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to start a new topic on that point. But, economy does affect our public services. The library is funded through public money… If you start a new topic, I’ll find it.

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