The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) released its report on the State Library Survey for fiscal year 2010. The data collected through this annual survey show that state library agency revenues fell by 24.1 percent in the previous decade and that reduction in staff has been one of the largest impacts of this shortfall. Despite this, state library agencies continue to provide essential services to libraries.
The majority (80.7 percent) of FY 2010 revenues to state library agencies still come from the states themselves. In 2010, 39 state library agencies experienced a loss in state contributions to revenue from 2009 levels, among them the Washington State Library. One of the largest impacts that declining revenue has had on state library agencies has been reduction of staff. State library agencies witnessed a decrease of 6.5 percent from 2009 part of a decreasing trend since 2005.
The Washington State Library reported a total budget of $11,109,000 for Fiscal Year 2010. 61.2% of the revenue was from state general funds, 34.1% was from federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, and 4.7% was from other sources such as our National Digital Newspaper Project, a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. We reported a staff of 75 full-time equivalents (FTE). To look at this another way, following the cuts from the 2011 legislative session and the November-December 2011 special legislative session, our operating budget stands at 9,644,286 and our FTE count at 66.9.
Our decrease would have been greater but we received $1,028,000 from the diversion of Heritage Center funding to support the historical societies, Arts Commission, and Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.
Since the beginning of the recession in 2008 (2007-2009 biennium) our budget has fallen by 37% and our staff FTE by 33%. The story is even more dramatic if you look at what has happened since the 1999-2001 biennium, roughly 10 years ago. While on the average state library agencies have seen a decrease in operating funds of 24.1 percent, our operating budget has fallen by 46%. Staffing has fallen by 57.7 percent at the Washington State Library. In the same period of time the Washington State general fund – state has grown by 55%.
Each year the State Librarian visits legislators to present the Washington State Library story. The next economic and revenue forecast is due next Thursday, February 16. A preliminary budget from the Senate may occur the week of February 20. Once again we wait for the proverbial shoe to fall.