« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
reading, but in information that they can gain as to where they can secure services of government and so forth, to make their lives as rich as they can at that particular stage in life.
I think we share your concern for the fact that every segment of the population is a responsibility of the library, and it should be served as equitably as we know how.
Mr. BRADEMAS. My final question touches on a point that a couple of you have made. That has to do with the matter of imposing a limitation on the amount of State money that can be expended for administrative services under title I, or for other services.
Now, I think, Ms. Martin, you suggested that there ought to be a limit of no more than 10 percent of a State's title I funds that can be used for State administration and indirect costs. You recommend this, but you do not agree, nor does HEW, with the GAO recommendation, that a similar limitation be placed on the use by a State of its title I funds for statewide services. Is that correct?
Ms. MARTIN. Yes, our strong feeling is that this money should be spent for services and that the States should spend State money for administration and that this would actually free up some new money for services.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Counsel draws my attention, Mr. Humphry, to a point that you have made. You may wish to comment on it a little bit further because it touches upon a significant policy question.
You say that, with respect to the needs of urban libraries, we need to rethink this support so that emphasis is less on short-term projects and more on using the money to assure that library services will be available to people in these cities over the long term.
Would you expand on that point?
Mr. HUMPHRY. Yes; I shall be glad to, because, I think, what we have provided in the past has been project money, money that has been earmarked for specific activities, and perhaps now we should be thinking of additional funding that could be used to sustain the big cities and big city libraries, since the cost of library services in the big cities is increasing and there are good and compelling reasons for sustained funding that would not have earmarks against which the cities could only accept these funds.
So, while in New York State we have granted 45 percent of our money to the five major metropolitan areas. it has been for projects. and we feel that additional money should be forthcoming for the sustenance of these big city libraries.
Actually, more than 80 percent of the money that is received in New York State is granted to local communities.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Thank you very much.
May I say to all of you that we should extend this legislation and we will certainly take into account the various constructive suggestions that you have made. But let me say that, given the posture of the executive branch of the Government, to which I earlier alluded, I think it important for you as spokesmen for the libraries of the country to encourage your associates across the country not to be hesitant in expressing their views to the Members of the House and Senate so that we can reach that magic figure of something in excess of 400 votes for the bill and then the President will understand that Republicans like to read books just as Democrats do and that he is heading in the wrong direction by his posture of hostility to this legislation.
So, with that admonition, let me thank you again for your very thoughtful testimony.
Ms. Martin. Thank you very much, and we will heed your admonition.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Next, we are pleased to hear from Dr. Ervin J. Gaines, the executive director of the Urban Libraries Council.
STATEMENT OF ERVIN J. GAINES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, URBAN
LIBRARIES COUNCIL, DIRECTOR, CLEVELAND PUBLIC LI. BRARIES, CLEVELAND, OHIO
Mr. Gaines. The Urban Libraries Council, a charitable corporation operating under charter from the State of Illinois since 1971, is composed of member libraries from 22 cities in the United States comprising a total population of almost 13 million people according to the 1970 census. The council is governed by a board of librarians and trustees from 13 different cities. As executive director, I am charged with carrying out the board's directives, but my major occupation is as director of the Cleveland, Ohio, Public Library.
The council, as well as its representatives, are active members of the American Library Association, and we perceive our interests to be harmonious with those of ALA, with an added concern about the fate of our city public libraries. These city libraries constitute, we believe, a national resource that is eroding as our cities endure severe social dislocation and economic reverses. The councils' aim, therefore, is to persuade the ALA, and through it the Congress, to ask the Federal Government to play a greater role in deploying some of our national wealth toward, first, the salvation, and afterward, the orderly development of our city libraries.
My oral testimony today will be brief, but I will leave for the record of this committee copies of recent stories in the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times which underscore our message, together with other items the committee may wish to refer to in developing its view of the library situation.
Urban Libraries Council's immediate appeal is this:
We ask the Congress to extend the Library Services and Construction Act with the expectation that during the next year we will continue our work with the American Library Association to shane sperifie proposals for amending the act beginning in fiscal year 1978.
The council's long-range legislative moals are threefold:
One. We are of the opinion that LSCA should provide direct assist ance to, at the rery least, those public libraries which by their size and strength serve as significant revioral centers for knowledge and information. We are convinced that LSCA as it stands does not achieve this, and we are equally convinced that general revenue sharing does not reach libraries in any sionificant amounts.
Two. We are of the opinion that LSCA should provide sufficient incentive to stimulate the States to provide from their resources aid to local libraries. Many States have virtually ignored opportunities to develop struggling library systems.
Three. We endorse the report to the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, known by the title “Alternatives for Financing the Public Library," May 1974.
The key recommendation of that report is that the Federal Government should provide approximately 20 percent of the funding for public libraries—page 69—and that the budgets for libraries should rise by at least 100 percent in the next several years—page 61. Since the total expenditure for public libraries is now on the order of $1 billion, the Congress should appropriate about $200 million for this purpose, and as budgets rise, look to a staged increase in the next few vears to an annual level of about $400 million in Federal aid. LSCA title I aid is now less than $50 million and has been declining.
In summary, what the council seeks is a radical review of library aids in the national interest. Vastly increased stores of knowledge are not now available to the general public; illiteracy and semiliteracy are on the rise. Even impot rant hearings before Congress are generally unavailable to the citizens of our country. We see a great danger ahead-an uninformed citizenry manipulated by a very-well-informed elite with a monopoly on the sources of knowledge. The public library is the only existing countervailing force to those developments, and it is too weak to exert substantial influence.
The Council believes that the Congress should intervene to rectify this growing imbalance. The cost will be small, the benefits great. The national interest will be well served by the effort.
For the moment, we are content, however, with a simple extension of LSCA in its present form. It is up to us in the next year to propose a specific program through the American Library Association which will accord both with our perceptions and with the congressional purpose. I close by reminding this committee that in creating the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (Public Law 91345) Congress affirmed that "library and information services adequate to meet the needs of the United States are essential to achieve national goals .. ." These services are at present inadequate, and Congress can take the leadership to make them adequate.
Material submitted for the record follows:]
[New York Times, Nov. 27, 1975)
Natioy's LIBRARIES FACE ECONOMIC Pixch
(By: C. Gerald Fraser) In an outlying area of the Bronx, the city's newest branch library has no books and no librarians; it has never been used. Completed seven months ago, it has been shuttered ever since, the silent symbol of a low priority city servicethe public library system.
Lacking the visible vitalness of a police precinct, a fire house or a hospital ward, the three library systems in the city are in what one official called a state of suspended animation, awaiting word on how deeply the budget knife will cut. And a similar situation exists across the country.
Branches in the city are on the verge of closing, hours have been reduced, librarians and aides have been discharged, bookmobiles have been taken off the streets and fewer books and periodicals are being purchased.
Ironically, this comes at a time when use of the libraries is increasing, a trend that is noticeable nationally and is similar to the increase marked during the Depression of the 1930's.
In the city, the New York Public Library—82 branches in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island clocking more than 20 million users a year-has been told to cut 8 percent, or $1.2 million, from its budget of $22.5 million.
Edwin Holmgren, director of the branch libra ries, said that this meant that 8 to 12 branches would be closed, there would be a reduction of hours in the ones remaining open and more than 100 persons would be dismissed. But none of this is certain, and the cuts could go deeper, depending on the final Federal-statecity settlement of the city's fiscal crisis.
Mr. Holmgren would not say which branches would close. But he said that the criteria were closeness to other branches, a building's condition, usage and the existence of alternative facilities.
All this, he said, is only the latest round in four years of budget cuts. Last July 1 the library dismissed 180 persons, 60 of whom were hired back.
The Brooklyn Public Library is ready with a plan to pair 38 branches--that is, to use one branch's staff to run two branches, each of which will be open approximately half a week. The Brooklyn library is planning to discharge 59 persons.
In Queens, a court agreed with charges in a suit filed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The suit contended that most of the 11 branches slated for closing were in predominantly black areas and consequently, the closings were discriminatory.
After the court's dicision, Milton S. Byam, Queens Borough Public Library director, came up with a plan to pair branches. But this has also been scrapped, and city officials have told him to hold off on closings any and the scheduled dismissal of 56 persons until further notice.
Nationally, the inflation is hurting library systems as much as the recession. Eileen Cooke, the Washington-based representative of the American Library Association, said that libraries "haven't even held ground, we've lost ground in terms of buying power."
Miss Cooke said that the average book price had gone up from $12.65 to $14.09, magazine subscriptions had increased from an average of $17.71 to $19.98 a yearand the $17.71 figure was a 9 percent increase over the preceding year.
More and more book money is going into periodicals, she said, and research libraries believe that the purchase of scholarly journals-some of which may cost $65 a year-should be the last item eliminated in order to prevent gaps in collections.
Library services are expanding, Miss Cooke explained. Libraries also buy films, phonograph records, tape cassettes; they run tutorial programs, dial-astory programs for children, picture collections and job and neighborhood information centers.
“Every dollar into postage,” she added, "is a dollar less for books. Electric bills are going out of sight."
In Detroit, Clara Jones, city's director of libraries, said: “We've lowered thermostats and in our hallways, for example, I think erery third light is on."
In Atlanta, Carlton Rochell, director of the library system, said that closings of branches were under consideration for 1976. This year, residents in four areas where branches were scheduled to be closed appealed to city hall and won a reprieve.
“The worse the times get," Mr. Rochell said, “the more use the library gets. We've had more than 23 percent over-all increase [in usuage] this year over last year. The best year in the history of this library," he said. "was 1931."
Betty Leroy, Los Angeles director of libraries, said that city was "kind of holding on."
“We can now buy the same quantity of books that we did a year ago or before. We can't buy more, but we're keeping up."
In New York State, according to Murray L. Bob, director of the ChautauquaCattaraugus Library System in Jamestown and president of the New York Library Association, said that tate aid for libraries was “in pretty poor shape." There has been one substantial increase in 10 years, he said.
Dinah Lindauer, assistant to the director of the Nassau County Library System, said that the reference book budget had been "cut down to the bone just to keep 90r cuhsprintion." She said also that Suffolk County librarians referred to a
ant discharge of 49 persons as the "Wednesday night massacre."
Mrs. Jones, of Detroit, who is also president-elect of the American Library Association, said that the public should not let its libraries go by default. "Ameria leads the world in library organizations. The best-organized libraries are in this country. This is where the record of our civilization is kept and, fortunately, ours is not an elitist library system."
URBAN, ACADEMIC LIBRARY ADMINISTRATORS DRAFT POSITION PAPER FOR FEDERAL
FUNDING IN LANDMARK MEETING Twenty-four administrators from the nation's urban and academic libraries met at a unique meeting initiated by the Urban Libraries Council at Park Rapids, Minn., recently, to consider their rapidly worsening financial plight.
The subject was Federal funding. The problem, obviously, is lack of it. Discussion was serious, urgent and often spirited. At the end of their two-day session, they adopted a position paper outlining "what needs to be done on the Federal level to save the nation's libraries, an irreplaceable national asset, from further, serious deterioration."
Of significance was the fact that the Park Rapids “Conference on Library Funding" represents perhaps the first time-certainly one of the very few times a national cross section of urban and academic library administrators have interfaced on this vital problem. “While I wasn't surprised, I was pleased to learn we are in total agreement on what needs to be done and how we should do it," said one attendee.
"Yes, I guess it would be proper to call us an ad-hoc committee," agreed Ervin J. Gaines, director of the Cleveland Public Library, and Melvin R. George, library director, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, who co-chaired the gathering.
“We are few in number, but we believe we speak for the vast majority. We see our meeting as a positive start towards closer, more effective cooperation between urban and academic library administrators to inform the American pubtic, and our national government, of the seriousness and the urgency of the situation.”
Gaines and George pointed out that two landmark pieces of Federal legislation affecting libraries will expire in 1976: the Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) and the Higher Education Act. “Therefore, we are pledged to promote our objectives in every suitable manner and are determined to take them to Congress in 1976."
In its position paper, the Conference on Library Funding asks Congress to address itself to three areas of concern :
Direct assistance to every public and academic library;
Particular assistance to key library resources at strategic locations in all parts of the nation; and
Support for inter-library communications systems and resource sharing enterprises.
“We are firm in our conviction that the Federal government must take the lead in accelerating the achievement of these objectives,” the position paper says, “and to that end we propose the following:
1. That the Federal government reverse its policy of attempting to reduce Federal aid to libraries.
2. That the Federal government set as its goal, to be reached in a reasonable time, support to academic and public libraries equal to 20 percent of the cost of operation.
3. That the Federal government establish incentives which will increase the share of our collective wealth that is assigned to support library and information services by 100 percent within the next decade.
4. That Federal appropriations be distributed to appropriate state agencies in proportion to the population, taking into consideration geographic factors of the distribution of that population, and that the states be required to do likewise within their boundaries.
5. That the states be required to give direct support to libraries, retaining only enough of Federal revenues to develop the program for communications systems and inter-library flow of information.
6. That states be required to raise their support levels to twice those of the Federal funding.