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Effect of state funding cuts on Mich. inter-library loan

tl:dr: Material requests for blind and disabled could be delayed; loss of state matching funds could imperil federal funding of inter-library loan. (A similar catastrophe is upon us for federal highway dollars because the dipshits in Lansing will not raise taxes to provide the matching funds -- nor properly operate the state in general.) Via @vielmetti, Superpatron The Ann Arbor Chronicle | State Budget Cuts Affect Library
Josie Parker, AADL’s director, warned the board about two areas that could be affected by state funding cuts to the Library of Michigan. One immediate impact is the state’s decision to implement unpaid furlough days on Fridays over the next few months, which means the Library of Michigan will be closed on Fridays. Because AADL’s services for the blind and physically disabled include some requests that are handled by the state library, any time that library is closed, local patrons could be affected. ... Parker outlined another way that funding cuts to the Library of Michigan might affect AADL services in the future. The AADL belongs to the Michigan Electronic Library Catalog, known as MeLCat. It’s a catalog system, funded in part by the state library, that allows member libraries throughout Michigan to share materials. The service is primarily federally funded, but requires matching funds from the state – if the legislature cuts that funding, then the federal money can’t be tapped. ...

Ohio Governor cuting 50% of funding to Ohio libraries

Ohio Governor Proposes Halving State Support; Many Libraries Could Close - 6/22/2009 - Library Journal I know Ray Bradbury is working to save libraries in Southern California. But which Ohio writers will step up to save the Buckeye State's libraries? Someone get Scalzi on the phone, STAT!
Trying to close a $3.2 billion gap by June 30, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland today proposed “resiz[ing] state government in line with the shrinking economy,” prioritizing “extremely limited resources toward critical health and safety service,” and—though not saying so in his speech—severely cutting library aid. Libraries in Ohio uniquely rely on state aid, rather than predominantly on local support. They are funded through 2.22% of the state’s total general tax revenue. Just before Strickland’s press conference, his budget director told Lynda Murray of the Ohio Library Council (OLC) that the proposal would cut the Public Library Fund by $227.3 million—nearly 50 percent—over the biennium budget. “I do not believe that many of our library systems, especially those without local levys, can remain open with those cuts,” commented Murray, in a message circulated on the American Library Association Council electronic mailing list.

Fritz and I were just talking last week about libraries and how we were both raised by them. I wish we lived in a world where cutting library funding was off the table.

Pathways of Desire

Sweet Juniper!
This past winter, the snow stayed so long we almost forgot what the ground looked like. In Detroit, there is little money for plowing; after a big storm, the streets and sidewalks disappear for days. Soon new pathways emerge, side streets get dug out one car-width wide. Bootprints through parks veer far from the buried sidewalks. Without the city to tell him where to walk, the pilgrim who first sets out in fresh snowfall creates his own path. Others will likely follow, or forge their own paths as needed.

In the heart of summer, too, it becomes clear that the grid laid down by the ancient planners is now irrelevant. In vacant lots between neighborhoods and the attractions of thoroughfares, bus stops and liquor stores, well-worn paths stretch across hundreds of vacant lots. Gaston Bachelard called these les chemins du desir: pathways of desire. Paths that weren't designed but eroded casually away by individuals finding the shortest distance between where they are coming from and where they intend to go.

It is an urban legend on many college campuses that many sidewalks and pathways were not planned at all, but paved by the university after students created their own paths from building to building, straying from those originally prescribed. The Motor City, like a college campus, has a large population that cannot afford cars, relying instead on bikes and feet to meet its needs. With enormous swaths of the city returning to prairie, where sidewalks are irrelevant and sometimes even dangerous, desire lines have become an integral yet entirely unintended part of the city's infrastructure. There are hundreds of these prescriptive easements across neglected lots throughout the city. . . .