Thursday, July 5, 2007

In late June, the General Assembly finally passed and the governor signed a state budget for the coming year. Why should Ridgefield Library users care?

Several key services offered by the Connecticut State Library and related agencies received level or increased funding, ensuring access by Ridgefielders and all state residents to some very useful resources without having to pay for them on a local basis.

Connecticard is the core reciprocal borrowing and Inter-Library Loan delivery service that makes it possible for a Ridgefield library card holder to access free-of-charge materials from virtually every other public library on the state –and have them brought directly to your local library’s door for your convenient pick-up. Support for Connecticard was increased substantially for a second year, helping to better align funding with actual operating costs.

Funding for iCONN, the Connecticut Digital Library, was increased to cover ongoing operation and subscriptions to its dozens of online databases and other resources, all available to every Connecticut library card holder. Among other things, the increase will allow iCONN to continue access to the Hartford Courant Historical archive database, a project that was implemented this past year with contributions from many individual libraries, including the Ridgefield Library.

Have you tried InfoAnytime, the 24/7 virtual reference service that was initiated last year by a group of several dozen libraries (including Ridgefield)? If you have benefited from this superlative source of information and research assistance, you will be pleased to know that the General Assembly added a new budget line specifically for this service and funded it in the amount of $150,000. If you haven’t tried it yet, visit our website at and see what creative public/private collaboration can make possible.

If you value any of these services, be sure to tell Governor Rell, State Senator Judith Freedman and State Representative John Frey how much you appreciate their support of Connecticut libraries – including your own.

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