[nfbwatlk] Budget Cuts to the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library

Mary ellen gabias at telus.net
Mon Mar 25 20:47:39 UTC 2013

The Washington library recently won an award for providing the best overall
service of all regional libraries.  Clearly a service worth protecting!

We're struggling here in Canada to get a publicly funded and publicly
accountable library service started.  Provincial libraries have devised what
I believe is a workable plan that will offer us the most integrated public
library service anywhere I've heard about.  I'm sad to say, though, that our
Federal government has ignored this initiative and proposes turning back the
clock and giving CNIB $3 million to run its private library.  $3 million
isn't a lot when you think about staffing a library for all the print
disabled people in Canada.  However, leveraging the personnel at public
libraries, the new system that's being proposed could do quite a bit with
three million dollars!  It's a different structure; we're working to make it
so that public libraries (even small branches) directly serve blind patrons.
With digital downloads, it's feasible to do.  That may be the way service
ultimately develops in the United States, too.  We opposed it in the 1970's
because a little library branch in a tiny town or rural area had no hope of
storing enough cassette books (not to mention Braille).  

I sincerely hope you're successful in keeping WTBBL strong!  

-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwatlk [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Prows,
Bennett (HHS/OCR)
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2013 12:11 PM
To: 'NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List'
Subject: [nfbwatlk] Budget Cuts to the Washington Talking Book and Braille

Since this is a nonpartisan issue, I will post this.  I have been asked to
let folks know, that the State Senate Ways and Means Committee is supposed
to be considering the budget this week, which includes the proposed budget
cuts to the WTBBL of some 600 thousand dollars. We need to contact
particularly the Senators on the committee to give them the message that
this is an intolerable cut. We have been the recipient of cuts to the
Library services during the last several sessions, and we can't afford this
additional tremendous amount of money being cut from our library services.
We won't have a library as we know it if this keeps up. My Senator is Andy
Hill, Republican, and he's the chair of that committee.  I guess there are
senate members from a number of districts, including from Spokane on that
committee.  Let's call the hot-line to leave messages, and even the direct
offices of the Senators on the committee and get the message across that the
library is needed, and the money must be restored.


Bennett Prows
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