Holding Pattern

Source: Lisa Peet, Library Journal, February 16, 2018

LJ’s 2018 Budget Survey shows overall budgets continuing to increase slightly, but federal funding disputes and new tax laws raise concern Last year, LJ’s budget survey showed libraries nationwide staying above water throughout 2016. In 2017 that trend continued, with libraries of all sizes reporting an overall average increase in funding for operating, materials, and personnel budgets. The trend seems to be leveling out, however. While total operating budgets rose modestly, concerns over a contentious federal budget that originally sought to eliminate federal library funding, as well as new tax laws, leave libraries unsure of what the future may hold.

An initial look at LJ’s 2018 Budgets and Funding survey of U.S. public libraries reveals a 2.8% increase in 2017’s total operating budgets, representing continued improvement since the lows of 2008—although down from last year’s gain of 3.4%. Overall, 77% of the 329 responding libraries reported an increase in total operating budgets from 2016 to 2017. In terms of individual locations, this is an improvement over previous years; 70% reported upticks in 2016, and 74% in 2015. …..