It was very good news when Mary Frances Cooper, a librarian, was appointed the 11th director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) in January. I was never totally comfortable when CLP was directed by a nonlibrarian from business, even though that great library, built by Pittsburgh steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, is symbolic of all the public/private partnerships so crucial to the public good in America.
Library Journal’s annual budget survey reveals that many public libraries are, at best, furiously treading water.
The 388 libraries that responded to the survey projected a negligible overall decrease in their total 2012 operating budgets (0.7 percent). Materials budgets are down 1.2 percent. And personnel budgets are relatively flat, with an uptick of just 0.2 percent.