Top Reasons Why Cutting State Library Funding in North Carolina is Not a Good Idea
1. 6:1 Return on Investment. North Carolina public libraries had an approximate $5.92 return-on-investment per every $1.00 spent in 2012-2013 ; this means the proposed budget cut of $284,000 will cost taxpayers in 2013 dollars a total of $1,681,074.86 in lost value.
2. Increasing Population, Decreasing Library Funding. A 9% cut in state library funding since 2008-2009 ; 11% if proposed 2% cut is made while the NC population grew by 5% or 426,556 residents during the same time period. Between 2000 and 2010, North Carolina was the sixth fastest growing state in the nation. Its growth rate was 18.5%, nearly double the national rate of 9.7%.
3. Americans Like Libraries More than College Football. Five times more people visit U.S. public libraries each year than attend U.S. professional and college football, baseball and hockey games combined5.
4. Minorities Value and Need Libraries More. African Americans and Hispanics are twice as likely to use library computers as Asian Americans and whites5; 30.7% of North Carolina’s population is black or African American or Hispanic or Latino.
5. Those in Poverty Value and Need Libraries More. Families making less than $15,000 annually are two to three times more likely to rely on library computers than those earning more than $75,0005.
6. Children who Read Score Higher on Tests. Research has found that children who participated in a public library summer reading program had better reading skills at the end of the third grade and scored higher on standard tests than the students who did not participate.
7. Almost Last in the Nation. North Carolina ranks 45th of 50 states in per capita state library funding5.
8. Library Usage Increasing, Library Funding Decreasing. In the past decade nationally, visits have more than doubled to 1.2 billion per year— with 1.7 billion items borrowed per year.
9. Libraries are ALWAYS a Great Investment. Nationally, for every tax dollar invested in public libraries, there was a national average return of more than $4 in benefits to patrons, the community and the economy5.
10. NC Continues to Cut Library Funding. Over the past 7 years (from FY 07-08) we’ve experienced a 16% drop and over 5 years (from FY 09-10) it’s been a 9% drop.
Top Reasons Why Cutting Library Funding to Mecklenburg and Wake Counties Not a Good Idea (Download PDF)
1. Permanent, Recurring, and Would Increase Each Year. As a proposed cap on state library aid of $400,000.00, a formula in which county population is a prominent variable, Mecklenburg and Wake Counties, both of which are growing at a rate that is more than double the state average , would be impacted more each year if their populations continue to grow rapidly as expected.
2. Would Impact Library Services to 24% of all black or African Americans and 26% of Latino or Hispanics in North Carolina. Mecklenburg and Wake counties collectively represent 24% of the state’s black or African American community (n=523,628) and 26% of the state’s Latino or Hispanic (n=221,301).
3. Would Impact Library Services to 25% of North Carolina’s Children. Mecklenburg and Wake Counties collectively serve 526,525 children which is 25% of all North Carolina’s children.
4. Would Impact Library Services to 45% of North Carolina’s Young Adults. Mecklenburg and Wake Counties collectively serve 59,277 young adults which is 45% of all North Carolina’s young adult population3.
5. Would Mean a Loss of 20,000 books a year. Both Mecklenburg and Wake Counties rely on state aid to purchase approximately 10,000 new books a year .
6. Would Impact 23% of all North Carolina Registered Library Users. Mecklenburg and Wake Counties collectively represent 23% of all of North Carolina library registered library users or 1,259,588 adults and youth last year (2012-2013) .
7. Could Potentially Impact 34% of all North Carolina Reference Transactions. Mecklenburg and Wake Counties collectively represent 34% of all of North Carolina library reference transactions or 3,138,137 last year (2012-2013)5.
8. Could Potentially Impact 28% of all North Carolina Books Loaned or Borrowed. Mecklenburg and Wake Counties collectively represent 28% of all of North Carolina library items loaned (to other libraries) or borrowed (by patrons) or 37,536 transactions last year (2012-2013)5.
9. Would Impact 20% of North Carolina’s Population. Mecklenburg and Wake Counties collectively represent 20% or 1,907,736 of North Carolina’s 9,765,229 residents1.
10. Would Impact 12% of all North Carolina Library Branches. Mecklenburg and Wake Counties collectively represent 12% or 39 of North Carolina’s 315 libraries.
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