Friends of North Carolina Public Libraries will hold its Annual Meeting Saturday November 4, 2017 at the Chapel Hill Public Library. Registration form (PDF).

All Friends are encouraged to come to meet and greet Friends from across the state and to share ideas on all aspects of our organization.  And most fun of all, is the awarding of the Frances B. Reid Outstanding Friends Group Awards and the Frannie Ashburn Volunteer of the Year Awards. If you entered, your Friends might be the winners. You know you want to hear about their projects and endeavors on behalf of their local Friends groups.

Strong Libraries: A Community Lifeline

In tough economic times, North Carolinians are turning more than ever to their public libraries. People visited their libraries over 41 million times, checking out over 54 million books and logging onto the Internet over 9 million times.

Did you know that in addition to supporting literacy and lifelong learning, libraries are a lifeline for jobseekers? Many public librarians across NC now spend an average of half of their time at work helping with job-related needs of the public.

This includes:

  • Helping people with resumes, cover letters, and access to resources to improve interview skills, assisting with online job searches
  • Providing intensive assistance for people applying for jobs online (did you know that many companies now accept only online applications?).
  • Providing free, accessible classes to help people build basic computing, email and online searching skills
  • Providing access to test preparation materials – both print and online – for the GED, SAT, MCAT, etc., but also for the U.S. Postal Service Exam, Firefighter Exam, Real Estate License Exam, and other vocational tests.

Public Libraries are the primary outlet for free public access to computers and the Internet. A 2011 survey of library computer users in one county showed that 60 percent had used library computers to look for jobs in the past year. Of those 18 percent said they were hired for new positions.

In spite of all this, libraries have suffered a double-whammy – if not a triple whammy – of budget cuts over the last four years as funding from the state, counties and municipalities has been reduced. Especially painful have been reversions of State Aid and the 13 percent cut in the 2011 budget: these funds make up 10 to 12 percent of a typical county library system’s budget, and as much as 40 percent of the budget of a typical regional library system that serves multiple rural counties.

Please hold the line against further cuts to State Aid, and restore funding that was previously cut, so that our public libraries can continue helping put North Carolinians back to work!

For more information, contact:

North Carolina Public Library Directors Association

Advocacy Tools

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