Monday, November 14, 2011

Give A Hoot About Chicago Libraries-Urgent Help Needed!

Call now to save libraries!

Please don’t stop now. We still have a chance to save full funding for the Chicago Public Libraries. Together we can maintain the access and staff that make library branches a vital resource in every community of this city.

The city's 2012 budget is scheduled to be voted on this Wednesday, November 18. Many aldermen have been urging Mayor Emanuel to restore all the funding his proposed budget cut from library hours and services.  Unfortunately, the Emanuel Administration is so far refusing to budge. And your alderman needs your encouragement to keep pushing.

Please make the call. If you don't know who your alderman is or how to reach them, use the Keep Chicago Working site to easily look them up with your home address.

Mayor Emanuel’s budget would still reduce the already-abbreviated hours at every branch library, forcing them to close two half-days each week except during school holidays. And it would eliminate most of the library clerical staff, along with every one of the library pages who now handle the work of processing and shelving books.

That means librarians will be spending their time on clerical tasks and book processing, rather than programs for kids, computer guidance and assistance to patrons. It also means that the library pages—part-time, low-paid workers, many with some form of disability—will be left out in the cold.
Call your alderman now. Tell him or her you strongly oppose all cuts to the library.

Mayor Emanuel is putting tremendous pressure on aldermen to vote for his budget, library cuts and all. Administration officials are using veiled threats and misleading information to pressure City Council members.

That’s why your call is so important. Urge your alderman to stand up against the Mayor’s old-school political tactics.  Even if you’ve already called your alderman, call again. Don't let them cut your library.

Once you've made the call, tell a friend. Post on your Facebook or Twitter.  Spread the word. Then you’ll know you’ve done everything you can to keep Chicago’s public library system strong.

More than 5,000 people have signed our petition demanding full funding of Chicago Public Libraries. They didn't ask for partial funding.
And well over 100 people at "Story Time at City Hall" chanted "No More Cuts!" The chant was not some more cuts.

But big cuts are Mayor Emanuel's idea of a compromise. The Sun-Times reports that the Mayor who pushed to slash 550 library jobs and close every branch two half-days per week is now offering to "ease" the cuts by "restoring roughly $3 million in funding."

That's not even half of his more than $8 million in cuts! He would still shutter every branch library two half-days a week, nine months a year, and slash hundreds of librarian and staff positions.  Together we have opposed all of Mayor Emanuel's cuts to library programs, hours and staff. We can't stop now.  Tell them it's not OK to reduce any library programs, lock any library doors, or eliminate any library staff.

Once you've called your alderman, call Mayor Emanuel's office at 312-744-3300. Tell him no cuts to libraries means no cuts!

 ****ChiIL Mama would love to see coffee bar cafe counters in each library branch, like they have in Portland.   Funds could go directly to the library and they could sell specialty coffee drinks and baked goods.   Nothing better to cure the winter blues than a good book and a good cup of coffee or hot cocoa for the kids!   Coffee not cuts...Pastries not pink slips!

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