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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lenny Curry is just like Vitti, wants to cut libraries

Why buy a school board when you can just buy a mayor. Gary Chartrand probably thought to himself just before he started cutting checks to Lenny Curry.

Lenny Curry has not only steered unprecedented amounts of public money towards Chartrand's KIPP charter school but he also said he wants to be like the super that Chartrand brought to town, Nikolai Vitti and as Curry seeks to cut library funding he is off to a good start.  

I went to a training at Ed White on Wednesday and part of it was in the library, or what used to the library, now there is just a dusty corner with a few books that are of course out of order. This is Viti's legacy.

Vitti, despite being in charge of a district with a reading problem neither appreciated nor understood the importance of books, libraries and librarians and now Curry is following in his footsteps. 


Supporters of Jacksonville libraries are asking City Council to increase their budget against the recommendation of Mayor Lenny Curry.
Curry’s proposing a $500,000 cut from last year’s budget of $3.4 million. 
The library’s materials budget — money for books, e-books and online databases — has seen a precipitous decline since 2005, when funds from the Better Jacksonville Plan helped create the Main Library on Laura Street downtown.
That year, city libraries spent $5.3 million on materials. This year, Curry’s proposing just over half that — $2.9 million.
Ed Zoller, who sits on the Friends of the Jacksonville Library board, said they’ve never really recovered from shrinking federal and local funds after the recession.
“When you adjust for current costs and inflation, that $5.3 million in 2005 was actually the equivalent of nearly $6.4 million. So, when you look at that $2.9 million that’s in the mayor’s budget, that’s a 56 percent decrease,” he said.
I get it, libraries aren't important to Curry but the thing is they are important for our community, especially for those parts that may not have been as successful as Curry or Vitti. Curry is being shortsighted to say the least.
Like we deserved a superintendent who appreciated books, librarians and libraries, we deserve a mayor that does as well.

1 comment:

  1. You would think that a superintendent with a learning disability would see the value in libraries but sadly that wasn't the case. It's no wonder the director of Jax Public Libraries retired right before budget season. Every year they get the short end of the stick because we believe more cops on the street make us safer. Libraries will lose out to "public safety" every time. Too bad our mayor doesn't see the benefit of being proactive. Oh wait he does...that's why KIPP got 500 spots in after school programs while everyone else is scrambling.