Connecticut Librarians Rally Against State Funding Cuts

Apr 15, 2015

Hartford Public Library
Credit (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Dozens of librarians in Connecticut rallied at the Capitol building in Hartford Wednesday in opposition to nearly four million dollars in cuts in Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposed two-year budget. The librarians are concerned that the proposed budget would eliminate funding for the state’s inter-library loan program.

Under the Connecticard program, a library patron can use their local library card to check out books at any of more than 800 libraries in the state.

“It has an effect on everyone," said Scott Hughes, the head librarian at the Bridgeport Public Library. "Through my Bridgeport Public Library card, I have access to every library in the state.”

Devon Puglia, a spokesperson for Governor Dannel Malloy, says libraries won’t have to eliminate the program if Malloy's budget passes. They just won’t get state funds for it.

“Libraries can continue the program and accept existing cards using funds that they have. But also, look, we’re trying to build a brighter Connecticut tomorrow by making tough decisions today,” Puglia said.

The state currently spends about a million dollars a year on the Connecticard program. A spokesman for the organization that represents Connecticut’s libraries said many libraries don’t have the funds to support it themselves.