Libraries – Age of Extinction
Much has happened to me since my last blog post; professionally speaking. Back in May, I was able to do our first Free Comic Book Day at the Library event. Over the course of the day, I think I gave out about 30 comics which does not sound like a lot but for a fist time event and on the beach; this was consider a success. On June 28, I had our first Comic Con at the Library event. We had about 80 people for this event which again, first time event and on the beach, this was consider an even bigger success. The following week, July 3-6, the library had a table at the Florida Supercon. I was able do this out reach with 5 other librarians over the 4 days reached about 5% of total attendance for this event or to put it more concrete terms we spoke to over 1700 people. I even did a cheapy cosplay which if you are a Doctor Who fan, I did something on the Silence or if you are a Batman fan, I was the villian Victor Azsasz. Two-fer cosplay!!!! And still to come, I will be doing a short presentation at this year’s SEFLIN conference on how to create comics in the library in a couple of weeks. Yet, for all these great professional achievements, the library is on the eve of a total devastation.
Tomorrow, the County Commissioners of Miami Dade County will vote of the millage rate for the library. If the millage rate remains flat, no change from last year, we will only be able to generate about $30 million dollars. While this may sound like a great deal of money it’s not. The reality is the $30 million dollars alone is just enough to take care of the staff salary and nothing else. We escaped this doomsday scenario last year buy raiding the last of the reserves which was about $20 million. This year, there are no reserves to speak of and yet even if the millage was raised to $54 million dollars, we are still looking at layoffs. Take a look at the last blog entry and you can see that the news will not be pretty. This begs the question, did we do enough to raise awareness and library advocacy? I want to remain optimistic but we could very well see our libraries in an age of extinction.