Library DrawingThe CONNector

JULY 2002Volume 4 Number 3

The State Librarian's Column

Kendall WigginsKendall F. Wiggin
Connecticut State Librarian

This column has proven harder to write than I thought. Early on I was going to reflect on some of the thought provoking ideas I heard at the Connecticut Library Association's Annual Conference, particularly Dean Matarazzo's provocative discussion on the consequences of the graying of our profession. Neither he nor I have ready solutions to the growing problem, but it is clear that the way libraries are staffed is going to change. Recruitment efforts need to be strengthened and broadened to bring more diversity into the profession; the concept of continuous career development needs to be instilled in the current ranks of librarians; and we need to market ourselves to all age audiences as a 21st Century profession.

But since the Conference the budget situation in Connecticut and many states has gone from bad to worse. Last year we were enjoying surpluses. Today we are dealing with large deficits. The consequences are manifesting themselves throughout state government. Libraries have faired no worse or better than the majority of programs. We were extremely excited that at the end of the budget negotiations iCONN had received a big boost in funding. Enough to keep this heavily used service viable until next July. (My thanks to all of you who brought the need for this program to your legislators.) However, every other library program saw a reduction from previous year funding levels. Most devastating to the State Library was a 34% reduction in the library materials account. We haven't even begun to weigh the effect this will have on our outstanding research collections.

In one of the many efforts we will be making to reduce costs, this will be the last printed newsletter for the foreseeable future. The CONNector will become an electronic publication (see page 2 for details). However, we will continue to bring you articles that inform you about the services of the State Library and the history of Connecticut.

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