Thursday, July 16, 2009

The economy's impact on state libraries and archives

In recent posts I wrote about the potential closing of the Michigan State Library. Unfortunately, Michigan is not the only state hard hit by the economic downturn.

In a Library Journal article from March, 2009 the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records was essentially closed down shortly after moving into a new building. Due to a 75% cut in the budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, the archives staff had been cut from 13 to 3 and all of the facilities had reduced hours. Currently posted hours indicate as follows:
Archives and History Division: Open for research by appointment only every Tuesday from noon to 4:00 p.m. and every Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.. Please call 602-926-3720 between 10:00 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday to make an appointment. Archives continues to accept research requests from patrons, but the response times will be much longer. The continuous receiving of unique records remains our top priority, please call for scheduling assistance.
However, contrary to Michigan there is apparently no movement to dump the entire collection. The Detroit FreePress ran an article yesterday on the Michigan State Library closing.

One interesting comparison is to view the ranking of the number of state employees relative to population among the states. Arizona, Florida and Nevada have some of the lowest ratios of state workers to population but the national average is 143 state employees per 10,000 residents. Both Arizona and Michigan rank in the lowest five states for combined state and local full-time employees relative to 10,000 residents. In the case of Arizona the reduction in the State Library staff from 13 to 3 had almost no impact on the overall cost of employees in the State. It is likely that the reduction in Michigan will likewise have little or close to zero impact on the State's overall budget. However the impact on the cultural and historic heritage of the state is immense.

1 comment:

  1. It's so sad to hear about state libraries and archives closing. = (

    ReplyDelete