CLC Budget Update
Monday, June 8, 2015
Dear CLC members and friends,
I'm sure you heard that the Connecticut legislature approved the biannual state budget. The good news is that most of the funding for library programs that were zeroed out in the Governor's proposed budget was restored to 90-95% of the requested funding levels.
That being said, CLC is budgeted to receive $185,844 in state funding for FY15-16 (53% of requested funding) and $190,000 in FY 16-17 (54% of requested funding). It is difficult to not be discouraged that CLC's funding was cut more significantly than other programs, but it is important to recognize the strong advocacy effort and results that we were able to achieve in a very short time. Many thanks for the considerable efforts of Ken Wiggin, CLA's Legislative committee, lobbyist Bobby Shea, advocacy consultant Libby Post, and especially, you, our members and your patrons!
As I stated in a recent Library Journal article, "I don't think there's ever been a time when our members have been more aware of our value ... and we've been seeing those numbers publicized, and spoken by other people. So we know that there's a true connection between what we do - which used to be one of those nice things but hard to understand in the alphabet soup of library organizations - to ... the value that we directly give to our members." Our job in the future is to help the legislators and the general public see that value more clearly as well. As one of our board members says, "The numbers don't lie; $332,500 investment by the state yields $7.1 million in savings is good math."
While this next year we will face some financial challenges, we are confident we will be able to continue to deliver the products and services our members rely on. We believe we have an opportunity to strengthen CLC during this challenging fiscal period, and plan to take advantage of this opportunity. We are working on a short term and long term budget that closes our state funding gap through economies in operations, drawing from CLC's financial reserves, a stronger investment strategy and a dues restructure. Longer term, we plan to evaluate additional funding strategies and structures for the organization.
CLC was due to revise its current strategic plan by the end of 2015. Prior to learning of the state budget status, we had already planned to conduct a series of community conversations with our members to identify your aspirations for the CLC community. We think the outcome of these conversations will give us new ideas and a stronger vision for our future. Look for information about how you can participate in these conversations in the next few months.
As we wrap up FY 14-15, we are thankful and proud of our accomplishments. Please join us to celebrate our successes and look forward to the future at our 12th Annual Membership Meeting on Tuesday, June 23rd (4-6pm) at the CT Historical Society in Hartford. It will be a fun event with good food and drink plus a chance to reconnect with colleagues across the state. We've even arranged discounted attendance to the museum if you want to come early and tour the exhibits.
This year has been exciting to say the least. On behalf of the CLC board and staff, thank you for all of your feedback, ideas and support. We are looking forward to helping you strengthen your services next year and in the years to come.
Jennifer Keohane, Executive Director