Last week was National Library Week. The annual celebration of libraries and librarians came at a time when libraries are busier than ever. This year, New Jersey libraries of all types are facing very challenging times.
Gov. Christie's proposed budget eliminates most of the statewide services that state residents have come to expect from their local libraries. A 74 percent reduction in state funding will eliminate the core services and infrastructure that support a majority of our libraries, including access to the internet, databases and electronic resources; loans and delivery of materials between libraries; and support for summer reading programs for children. And a 50 percent reduction in state aid will affect our libraries' ability to purchase books, computers and audiovisual collections.