I've only been researching my family for a year, and have yet to follow the branch that went to Florida. However, when I do get around to researching that branch of my ancestors who traveled to Florida, I would like to be able to utilize the Florida State Library and Archives. I am appalled at what Gov. Bush is planning to do. Please read and pass on to someone you know who may be able to help. I know it's long, but, please, at least skim over it, then use the contact numbers below to make your feelings known. If this can happen in Florida, it can happen in YOUR state.
Library is a character in Florida budget plot
By STEVE BOUSQUET, Times Staff Writer
� St. Petersburg Times, published January 25, 2003
Something is very curious here.
Jeb Bush, the governor who began his second term with the noble goal of making Florida "a state of readers," wants to unload a precious public resource: the state library.
A state of readers with no state library.
The proposed library giveaway is one element of the decidedly grim budget Bush put forth on Tuesday. Through a maze of mergers, cutbacks, consolidations and privatizations, he would lop another 2,898 jobs off the state payroll, including 49 at the state library.
This is all in the name of "smaller government," and paying for what Bush calls "the 800-pound gorilla," the class-size amendment.
This is tough-love fiscal policy. Bush barnstormed the state opposing Amendment 9, with its pricey mandate for limits on students-per-classroom. He warned Floridians about big budget cuts if it passed. It's a campaign promise he plans to keep, even as he seeks to push more tax cuts.
What got the first-day attention in Bush's budget was big-picture stuff, like cutbacks in the Medically Needy program, a potential 12.5 percent hike in university tuition and relying on private lawyers instead of three state legal offices to represent Death Row inmates.
The Legislature will have a lot to say about all of this, of course, and while the House leadership appears poised to nod agreeably, Bush won't like much of what he's going to hear from the 40-member Senate.
In fact, for one full week in mid February, senators will do nothing but give voice to the advocates and lobbyists of programs, so they can bash the Bush budget and the policy choices that created it.
Even House Republicans, nominally Bush's strongest allies in the Capitol, were grilling Bush's budget director Wednesday.
Why, one asked, must appeal courts get by with fewer judicial assistants? Why does Bush want to pass on the pretrial detention costs for juveniles to counties? Why is a $4-million aquaculture program being privatized? Why does Bush want to lower the reimbursement rates to hospitals? Why does he want to merge and cut by half the budgets of two state agencies that watch how state money is spent and often suggest ways to save money? The answers are obvious.
Bush is the antigovernment governor. In his Jan. 7 inaugural, he dreamed out loud about a capital where all state buildings were emptied of government workers. He didn't mention it at the time, but now we know: He must have been thinking of the state library. Bush wants to shift most of the state Division of Library and Information Services, which manages archives, state records and library grants, to the Department of Management Services. That agency oversees the state motor pool, private prisons and computers.
The state library, a repository of Florida history now in the R.A. Gray Building between the Florida Supreme Court and the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center, may end up at Florida State University.
But FSU president T.K. Wetherell said in a speech this week that he doesn't want it unless the state also shipped him enough people and money to run it. (The Bush budget also eliminates $111.5-million from university budgets, including about $18-million from FSU).
Even if FSU agreed to run the library, access poses a big problem.
While doing research for a master's degree in history at FSU three years ago, I was a frequent customer of the state library.
On its shelves, alongside thousands and thousands of books, is something called "Filming Florida," a trove of grainy newsreel films from the '40s, '50s and '60s. I saw footage of the glass-bottom boats at Silver Springs and a film of former Gov. Farris Bryant testifying before Congress in 1963 on his support for "states' rights" in racial matters.
After I got the degree, I quickly learned my library privileges were revoked. Only active students can check out books there. FSU alumni can use FSU's athletic facilities all they want, but checking out a book, well, that's another story.
I had to apply for a six-month special borrowing permit.
Giving away the state library? Now there's a "reading initiative" to consider.
-- Steve Bousquet is the Times' deputy capital bureau chief in Tallahassee.
wrote: To: email@example.com
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2003 13:09:00 EST
Subject: [taylorgroup] Attention All and Pass on to other groups!
If any of you belong to other listservs, could you please forward this
email to them. We need the help of the whole country to help save our
State Library. Thank you. Pam
Florida���s Historical Treasures Are at Risk
Pam Cooper, FSGS President
The Florida State Genealogical Society board has unanimously approved
joining a coalition to oppose Governor Bush's proposed budget regarding
the dismantling of the Florida State Library and Archives.
The coalition currently consists of the following organizations:
�� Florida Historical Society
�� Florida Archaeological Council
�� Florida Anthropological Society
�� Florida Trust for Historic Preservation
�� Florida Association of Museums
We are asking for help of all genealogists, historians and researchers
throughout the U.S. If this can happen in our state, it can happen in
any state. Please write, email, or fax the Florida legislators. Make our
legislators aware of this serious error that they are about to commit.
We cannot lose Florida's treasures. Send letters, faxes and e-mails to:
Governor Bush, The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001, Telephone: (850)
488-4441, FAX (850) 487-080
and addresses for the House of Representatives and Senators can be found
1. The Governor has proposed for the 2003-4 budget ZERO dollars for the
State Library and Information Services Division.
2. It has been proposed that the State Library be eliminated and
holdings transferred to Florida State University in Tallahassee by July 1.
3. The proposed budget cuts $17.6 million from FSU���s State funding and President T. K. Wetherell said ���The way it looks is that someone wants us to assume a responsibility but with no money (provided).��� In
addition, FSU has limited parking, and their own library is lacking so
much space that they use warehouses for some of their holdings. The FSU
library would need to hire more staff to facilitate the book processing
and increased reference questions, and at the same time reduce their
4. The Florida State Library and Archives Division is now part of the
Department of State, and is responsible for the State Library, the State
Archives, state record keeping and library development services/grants
programs for public libraries throughout the state.
5. The proposal for the Bureau of Archives and Records Management is for
the Records Management responsibilities to become a part of the
Department of Management, and for the State Archives to fall under the
parks department of the Department of Environmental Protection.
6. The FloridaMemory.com project will be in jeopardy. This site now
contains the photographic collection (over 90,00 pictures), Florida
Pension Application Files, Spanish Land Grants, Call and Brevard Family
Papers, and many more documents of Florida���s early history.
7. The Governor���s budget must not pass the Florida Legislature. Session
will begin March 4. We still have time to change the tide.
For more detailed information go to the Records Preservation & Access
Web Site: http://www.fgs.org/rpa/FlCurrent.htm
FGS/FSGS 2003 Conference Co-Chair < http://www.fgs.org
President, Florida State Genealogical Society <
Chair, Librarians Serving Genealogists <
P. O. Box 7066
Vero Beach, FL 32961-7066
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