And now for some good news

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 1 March 2000




Fitzsimons, E. (2000), "And now for some good news", The Bottom Line, Vol. 13 No. 1.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

And now for some good news

Keywords Government, Funding, Gifts

California's first statewide library bond in more than a decade appears to be headed for next March's ballot. The $350-million measure to build and modernize libraries was approved by the state Senate on September 9 after its passage by the Assembly earlier in the week. This library bond would be the first since a $75-million measure was passed in 1988. Sen. Richard Rainey (R-Walnut Creek), author of the bill, said that although this would be a step in the right direction, it still won't solve the problem. If approved, the bond act would create a pool of funds to finance projects to be chosen by a six-member state board comprising the state librarian, treasurer, director of finance, members of the Assembly and Senate, and an appointee of the governor. Projects would require a 35 percent local funding match.

Also in California, Oxnard rancher John S. Broome has pledged $5 million to build a new library at California State University's Channel Islands campus, which is now under development in Ventura County. With this gift in hand, administrators can immediately start planning the design of the facility, which is to be housed in a former hospital laboratory. At 283,00 square feet, the building will be larger than the main library at Cal State/Northridge. Not surprisingly, the university trustees are considering naming the facility after the 81-year-old farmer, whose family has lived in the county since the 1800s.

Fourth-grader Kirstin Shipp of Howard County, Maryland, organized a drive that netted approximately 9,000 books to replace the library books lost when the school in Mulhall, Oklahoma, was destroyed by a tornado on May 3. Shipp placed boxes for donations at her school, local grocery stores, and a church. Family friends helped transport the donations to a storage unit that agreed to store the books at half price. The books were transported cross-country by Betty Swigelson, owner of a New Mexico moving company, who often donates the use of her trucks and drivers for good works. A new elementary school can be built in Mulhall.

A preliminary plan to fund a new downtown Minneapolis library calls for a $60-70-million bond issue to be presented to city voters as early as November 2000. The $150-million proposal also anticipates state bonding and tax-increment financing from city businesses and hotels that would yield $40-70 million. The amount includes $20-26 million to repair or renovate aging branch libraries. The plan now goes to the city council and library board for approval.

Michael and Susan Dell have pledged $500,000 to the Austin, Texas, Public Library for the creation of children's computer centers at the main library and nine branches, the largest private donation ever received by the library.

The gift from the founder of Austin-area-based Dell Computer Corporation will be used to buy six new multimedia workstations for each branch and 12 for the main library, more than doubling the number of library Internet connections. The new computers will be dedicated to children's use and will be loaded with Internet filters. The Austin City Council approved $325,000 on September 14 to fund 11 new employees to staff the Dell Wired for Youth Centers. The city money is scheduled to increase to $500,000 annually in future years.

In September, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced $1,494,062 in grants to enhance library services to Native Americans. The Native American Library Service program makes it possible to improve library services for an important, but often underserved, segment of the nation's library users. The program offers three types of support: basic, technical assistance, and enhancement support to established libraries serving Indian tribal communities and Alaska Native villages. The basic grants (up to $4,500) and the technical grants (up to $2,000) are awarded to all eligible libraries that apply. The enhancement grants are competitive grants that assist libraries with both traditional and innovative library practices. IMLS received 44 applications and made 13 awards. The 13 grants recently announced range from $64,126 to $150,000 for one- and two-year projects, to finance services such as staffing, training, new materials, computer services, Web sites, digitization of archival materials, and interlibrary loan consortia.

Eileen FitzsimonsFitzsimons Editorial Services

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