CHICAGO – Forty-one percent of states report declining state funding for U.S. public libraries in fiscal year 2009, according to a survey of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) conducted by the American Library Association (ALA). Twenty percent of these states anticipate an additional reduction in the current fiscal year.
While reductions have been seen from coast to coast, the southeastern section of the country has been the hardest hit, with declines as large as 30 percent in South Carolina and 23.4 percent in Florida in FY09 compared with FY08. Per capita state aid in South Carolina has fallen back to 2003 levels, at the same time inflation has averaged between 2.5 and 3.4 percent annually.
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