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CLA Day in the District
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CLA 2018 Day in the District

 

Priority Issues

$9.5 million State Budget package for libraries

 

Background

 

During the Fall of 2017, the California Library Association (CLA), the California State Library (CSL), and the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) worked with the California Director of Finance and his Education Unit in order to craft a proposed funding package, benefitting California’s public libraries.    

 

This productive, collaborative effort ultimately led to the inclusion of a $9.5 million proposed library funding package in the Governor’s 2018-19 Budget, which was released by Governor Brown on January 10, 2018.  It is now subject to Legislative approval.

 

Dates and Key Decision-makers

 

This $9.5 million package will be before the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance on May 1 (Assemblymembers:  McCarty (Chair), Chavez, Limon, Medina, Muratsuchi, O’Donnell, and Voepel).  The package will be before the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance on May 3 (Senators Portantino (Chair), Jackson, and Moorlach).    

 

Specifics:

 

CLA is in strong support of this important negotiated agreement, which seeks to do the following:

 

$2 million in one-time funding for Broadband Equipment Grants to connect public libraries to CENIC 

Thanks to past State Budget appropriations, almost half of the public libraries (main locations and branches) have been connected to a high-speed broadband “backbone” operated by CENIC.  CENIC currently provides high-speed broadband to the community colleges, the K-12 system, and UC and CSU.  Almost 500 main locations and branches are still in need of connecting, and the $2 million in one-time funding could assist many of these libraries who would like the opportunity to receive high-speed broadband connectivity.

 

$3 million in one-time funding for Broadband Capacity Grants to increase connection speed for public libraries connected to CENIC

These funds are intended to assist libraries who are in need of boosting capacity so that they are able to deliver speeds in excess of 1 gigabytes to a community.  The State Librarian indicates that priority for the funding would be targeted towards those libraries “in areas where the most subsidized lunches are served to school children or the most underserved parts of the state.”   

 

$1.5 million in one-time funding for Online Service Systems to provide patrons greater access to library materials

With fewer financial resources available to libraries in terms of funding their book budgets, many libraries are looking to creative ways of obtaining materials for patrons and sharing these materials with other libraries.  These funds would allow patrons to access specific online marketplaces, have the book delivered to their home, and then return the book to the library once finished with the item.  Another program will allow libraries to have access to a larger, digital catalogue of multiple libraries, so that a patron can have the ability to widen their search options for materials.  These two programs have been demonstrated to be particularly impactful in rural or underserved communities. 

 

$2.5 million in ongoing funding for California Library Literacy Services program to bolster family-centered literacy programs

Due to a lack of funding over the years, a component of the California Library Literacy program that placed a focused effort on bringing a family together (adult learners and their children) to explore literacy programs together, had been diminished.  As the State Librarian indicates, “It has been several years since the state invested in this program, which continues to demonstrate both qualitative and quantitative value.”

 

$350,000 in ongoing funds for broadband backbone fees and surcharges imposed by the CPUC and $150,000 ongoing for an E-Rate coordinator position at the State Library to assist libraries in securing state and federal discounts in concert with their CENIC connections.

The $350,000 for fees and surcharges sought for the public library participation in CENIC is a technical item, addressing mandated increases in fees by the PUC.  The E-Rate coordinator is a position requested by the State Library, which should provide valuable assistance to public libraries who are applying for federal e-Rate discounts and state California Teleconnect Fund discounts.  These discounts that are obtained, substantially reduce a public library’s monthly telecommunications bills.

 

Total package:  $9.5 million 

 

Should your legislator have any questions regarding details of the CLA/State Library/CENIC Budget package, proposed by Governor Brown in his 2018-19 Budget, please have them contact CLA’s lobbyists:  Mike Dillon and Christina DiCaro at KP Public Affairs in Sacramento.

 

Learn more about SCA 3 from CLA President and Advocacy & Legislation Chair

 

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