All Library Materials are purchased with bond money, state, county and city. The good news is that in 2011 the city proposed a $3 million Library Bond which was approved by almost 69% of Albuquerque voters. The bad news is that this year the city is only proposing $2.75 million, a decrease of $250,000 in the Library's purchasing budget over the next two years. This follows a decrease in funding from the County Library Materials Bond last year. The County had proposed $1.5 million to the voters in 2010, but only $1.3 million in 2012, a decrease of $200,000. Luckily the State increased it's 2012 bond amount for our Library by by $319,000, which compensated for the County cut. But this trend to decreasing City and County funding for library materials is a problem.
The Library System has suffered a dramatic decline in its operating budget. Bond money may not be used to pay salaries or other operating costs for the Libraries. This money must be provided by the County and City general funds.
County Funding: One positive change is that in 2012 the operating budget funding provided by the County, which had not increased over the past seven years, was increased so that it covered the operating costs of the three libraries located in the unincorporated areas of the County. Thanks to the County Commissioners for this achievement.
City Funding: Almost all of the Library's operating budget is spent on labor costs. From FY08 to FY13, the City reduced the Library operating budget and cut Library full-time permanent positions by 28%, while the the City's total personnel reduction for all departments was only 9%. The Library has taken more than its fair share of personnel cuts, and has had to replace full-time personnel with temporary workers. This downward trend in staffing must be reversed. The budget for FY 2013 added one permanent position, which is a step in the right direction. The Mayors proposed budget for FY14 does not propose cutting any more permanet positions, nor does it restore any of those positions previously cut. And the Library System still relies on temporary, contract workers funded each year with one-time funding to keep the library doors open.