We received a flyer today from a member of the Mt. Lebanon Library Board of Trustees regarding the potential funding cut as a result of a change to the Allegheny County Library Association’s (ACLA) formula for the distribution of Regional Asset District (RAD) funds to 44 county libraries.
I have posted the contents of the flyer below since we can't upload PDF files to our blogging account:
Save Mt. Lebanon Library!
We need your help! Take action and tell RAD to say NO to the ACLA funding formula!Why?
If RAD accepts the ACLA formula—Mt. Lebanon Library loses and so do you! Mt. Lebanon Library will lose more than $170,000 in annual funding.
- Friday and Sunday service at the Library—we will have to close for these two days—all year long!
- Popular Library programs—for example—instead of five preschool story times each week—we will have one!
- Valuable help from Library staff—we will have to reduce staff by six part-time positions!
- Material for you to borrow—we will have to reduce our purchases of books, audio and video materials, magazine, and online databases by approximately 40%.
Don’t let this happen to this gem in our community.
Don’t let this happen to the thousands of people who use our Library. Don’t let this happen to you
Help now—by writing to RAD and telling them to say NO to ACLA!!! We need your help and we need it now. Thanks for supporting the Mt. Lebanon Library!
Here are some points about Allegheny County Library Association’s (ACLA) formula for the distribution of Regional Asset District (RAD) funds to 44 county libraries. Feel free to use those that resonate with you. Please contact the library if you have any questions or would like additional information. 412-531-1912.
CALL OR WRITE NOW—HERE’S HOW:
You may call or send your letters or e-mail messages to:
Regional Asset District
425 Sixth Avenue, Suite 1610
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
The Regional Asset District (RAD) provides $5,175,000 to 44 public libraries in Allegheny County. Using a formula developed by the Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA), the funds are distributed to the county libraries (excluding Carnegie Library of Pitts-burgh, which receives its RAD funds directly). Since 1995, when RAD began distributing funds to regional assets such as the zoo, parks, and libraries, ACLA has served as a pass-through for RAD funds to libraries and has used a formula for the distribution. ACLA recently created a radically new formula, the third since 1995. The last revision to a formula was in 2000. The RAD must approve any distribution formula developed by ACLA. RAD will decide later this summer and fall whether to approve ACLA’s new formula.Points about ACLA’s formulaInequitable Support for Distressed Libraries
Support for distressed libraries is grossly inequitable. Wilkinsburg, a distressed library, loses $54,402. McKeesport, another distressed library, gains $132,771. The assertion that the formula’s swings in gains and losses are due to additional money going to distressed librar-ies is inaccurate. Net gain for the 8 distressed libraries is less than $150,000 (of the $5,175,000 RAD funds distributed to all 44 county libraries.)Large Gains to Non-Distressed Libraries
Non-distressed libraries gain a total of $442,175 in the formula. Many of these libraries serve communities that can afford to support li-braries well, for example, Moon, Hampton, Plum, Northland [serving McCandless, Franklin Park, Ross, Bradford Woods, Marshall], Lauri Ann West [serving Fox Chapel, O’Hara, Aspinwall, Blawnox, Sharpsburg, and others], to name a few.Inequitable Regional Distribution—the South Takes the Biggest Hit!
There is inequitable regional distribution in the formula: South Region libraries take biggest hit, with 10 of the 12 libraries losing more than $411,000 (Mt. Lebanon loses $171,000), while only 2 gain: Clairton, a distressed library, gains $25,108 while Pleasant Hills gains only $2,559. Green Tree library (in ACLA’s West Region, but contiguous to South Region libraries) loses $29,540. [Libraries in ACLA’s South Region: Baldwin Borough, Bethel Park, Brentwood, Clairton, Castle Shannon, Dormont, Jefferson Hills, Mt. Lebanon, Pleasant Hills, South Park, Upper St. Clair, Whitehall] The loss of library service to the residents of the South Hills of Allegheny County will be catastrophic. This cannot be considered fair or equitable.Mt. Lebanon Suffers the Largest Loss—More than 10% of our Operating Budget!
Mt. Lebanon has long been one of the most successful libraries in the county and state, serving people of all ages from across southwest-ern Pennsylvania. The award-winning library’s high usage measures are evidence of this success and exceed those of peer libraries across the country: circulation, library visits, collection size, reference questions, program attendance, public computer use, web site visits, and more. Moreover, the library receives strong support from the municipality and residents of the community, which should be rewarded and leveraged in the funding formula, as it has been since 1995. It does not make sense that Mt. Lebanon Public Library is losing the largest amount in the formula, $170,976, more than double the next biggest loss by a library. This is more than 10% of our operating budget.Large Swings in Gains and Losses is Too Extreme
This is not the time to enact a radically changed ACLA formula for the distribution of RAD funds to libraries, one that contains wild swings in gains and losses. Twenty-three of the forty-four libraries lose RAD funds in ACLA’s formula. In a year when libraries already face severe funding cuts from the State (perhaps as much as 50%), it is unthinkable that a formula redistribution causes so many of these libraries to suffer extreme losses.No Incentive for Local Support
The lack of a factor that leverages local income and municipal support penalizes libraries that have good municipal support. Moreover, the lack of a factor to provide any incentive for local income will result in further reduced library support and diminished library service across the county. The intent of RAD funds has always been to supplement, not supplant, local municipal and community support of libraries and to leverage local financing. It is impossible for RAD to support county libraries in lieu of meaningful local contributions. The formula should reward local support of libraries.
We urge the Regional Asset District Board to reject ACLA’s new formula.
Save Mt. Lebanon Library—Tell RAD—say NO to ACLA!!
Labels: ACLA, library, RAD