Public libraries are reporting a flat or decreased operating budgets in FY2012, according to a new report from the American Libraries Association called Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2011-2012.
The report found that 52.4 percent of libraries saw their technology budgets (money that goes towards the purchase of computers, eReaders, telecommunications and software) remained unchanged for FY2012.
Twelve percent of libraries reported that their technology operating budgets went down, with the biggest cuts coming from libraries located in urban environments. Check it out: “Urban libraries report decreases in all technology expendi tures since FY2010, with the most significant reductions in expenditures between FY2010 and FY2011 for telecommunications (-88 percent), outside vendors (-73 percent), and computer hardware/ software (-63.3 percent).”
The report also found that 63.2 percent of libraries do not have replacement schedules to update old technologies. Meanwhile, 58.4 percent of libraries have applied for an e-rate discount, which would give the libraries discounts for technology services.