PA’s Budget: How can public libraries help with a solution?Posted in Carrie's Musings, Funding, News, State Aid on June 14, 2010 by Carrie
Check out this article in the Patriot News for a perspective of what’s happening with the state budget: http://www.pennlive.com/ The concluding sentence of the article doesn’t leave those departments and libraries starting with a new fiscal year on July 1 with much security, but I do what I can to remain positive and hope for the best: “No wonder both sides are not shy about saying the June 30 budget deadline can’t contain the oozing plumes of disagreement on so many important issues.”
To libraries, I would suggest that this isn’t the time to get mired in worry about what will happen if state funding isn’t available. You know you are doing your best with the resources that are provided. We’re not here to lobby; the valuable impact we make on the community often speaks for itself, but perhaps it could be time for public libraries to show their value and expertise in using and sharing valuable information.
I read an article over the weekend (thank you Google reader and friends for aggregating news on my interests all in one place) that showcased winners in a contest to make government information easy to access, display, use, and understand. Check it out to see how very complex information can be displayed in a more simple format to share with the public in some of these examples: Government Information Design contest winners. I particularly enjoyed this fun way to compare county level data showing each county’s level of each of the 7 deadly sins: countysinrankings.org/ which relied on data displayed at countyhealthrankings.org/ to give a data picture in easy to compare format.
How can libraries best design and share the information we have to help us showcase the benefits of keeping our funding level strong or of increasing it by 5% as advocated by the Pennsylvania Library Association?
How can libraries assist in the organization of information and facts and data to help our citizens and leaders be literate to can play a vital role as a part of an informed democracy.
Can we send an online information packed display to our public and the politicians showing them an infographic of the impact of budget decisions? As one example, can we show how increased library funding can coorelate with decreased prison funding? How can we use the ROI study to spread the news?
What did your library do today to show the public library role as an aggregator of the range of viewpoints, a wealth of information in multiple formats, and a place for education to enhance our great democracy?
Use this egovtoolkit to make sure your community knows how to access egovernment too.
Ideas always welcomed. :)
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