“The budget looks a bit more promising at this point,” says Jim Thomas, the director of the Verona Public Library. “From the numbers I’ve been getting, it looks like the state library budget is being cut about 50% instead of almost 75%.” The cuts, revealed in May, totaled $10.4 million.
Whether S3000, which was co-sponsored by Sen. Kevin O’Toole (whose District 40 includes Verona) will make its way through the Legislature intact is anybody’s guess. If it does, Thomas says it will be up to the state librarian as to how the funds are allocated. Verona’s priorities would be to maintain the database and inter-library loan system known as JerseyCat, as well as some form of inter-library delivery, and the more specialized EBSCO databases for all libraries. “If these services can be provided,” Thomas says, “Verona citizens will be able to enjoy the services that they have come to expect from the library.”