Oak Lawn Library Friends say budget cuts may lead to wait times of 8 years for some materials

Our old friend P D Sterling sends along word that the Oak Lawn Library Friends will host a town hall meeting this coming Thursday to discuss the potential impact of city budget cuts. According to the OLLF website, which lists Thursday’s meeting as a CALL TO ACTION, these potential impacts include:

• Branch hours will remain the staff but half the staff will lose their jobs
• Due to reduced staffing, programs such as story time, Summer Reading Program, and other planned outreach could be eliminated
• The overall budget vs. two years ago is reduced by 60 percent
• The cuts are so severe that the library will lose accreditation
• Loss of accreditation will make us lose state and federal funding
• The materials budget will be continue to be cut which will mean fewer new materials and longer wait times for materials you want.
• These wait times could be as long as 8 years!

OLLF is urging people to contact council members Pauline Medrano and Angela Hunt and to attend upcoming budget town hall meetings hosted by the city. Sterling summarized the situation as follows:

The proposed budget cuts may severely hamper the ability of our library to function; the staff may be reduced to the point that community programs will have to be withdrawn, just to provide core services of book- and media-lending.

Oak Lawn Library Friends have been a dynamic force in making Oak Lawn Library a vital community center, and we have grave concerns that extreme reductions will be short-sighted. If national accreditations are lost, outside grants will no longer be available.

We submit that the citizens of Dallas must call for basic services to be maintained, and talking points will be made available for further meetings held by the City during the next six weeks.

The town hall meeting will be at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the library, 4100 Cedar Springs. For more info, go here.

—  John Wright

Local Briefs • 07.30.10

OL Library Friends holding information meeting on budget

Oak Lawn Library Friends will hold an information meeting on the city of Dallas budget reductions and their impact on library users from 6-8 p.m. Thursday August 5th at the library audtorium, 4100 Cedar Springs Road. The meeting will offer details on a proposal to organize volunteers to save library services.

Women’s Chorus of Dallas inviting interested singers to rehearsals

The Women’s Chorus of Dallas will hold open rehearsals for women interested in joining the chorus on Monday, Aug. 9, and Monday, Aug. 16, beginning promptly at 7 p.m. both evening.

Interested singers are invited to sit in on a rehearsal, meet with members of the chorus and learn more about becoming a member.

The Women’s Chorus of Dallas offers women the opportunity to sing classical choral repertoire, as well as popular music and songs from many other genres. Neither prior experience nor the ability to read music is a requirement for membership.

Regular season rehearsals are held every Monday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Sammons Center for the Arts, 3630 Harry Hines Blvd. Members are expected to attend every rehearsal.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 30, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Oak Lawn Library gets more LGBT stuff, but hours are in danger of being cut in half

Oak Lawn Branch Library volunteer and Stonewall Democrats board member Phyllis Guest reports that the library’s selection of gay titles on DVD has quadrupled in the last few months:

The OLL has long had a selection of LGBTA books, both fiction and
nonfiction, with a number of  new “Young Adult” novels coming in the
last year or so.

But the selection of movies and TV series on DVDs has been meager.

Then, between Thursday, April 1 (when I went on Grand Jury duty and
had to stop volunteering several days a week) and Thursday, May 27,
the DVD collection quadrupled.

Good news for the gayborhood, I think.

Phyllis

And now for the bad news: The Dallas Morning News reports today that the city may cut hours in half at neighborhood libraries next year, from 40 a week to 20 a week, due to the huge budget shortfall. Read more about that by going here.

—  John Wright

No wonder the post office is going broke

Oak Lawn post office
Oak Lawn post office

This afternoon, I spent 15 minutes in the Oak Lawn post office. I was there to buy a stamp. One stamp.

The post office has been suffering of massive losses. After 15 minutes, I know why and have some suggestions.

Return the postage machines. I used to walk in, use a vending machine, get a stamp or two, mail a bill and leave.

This visit I stood in line 15 minutes until someone else in line saw me holding one envelope and offered me a stamp. I paid her. Thanked her. Mailed my bill and left.

While I was waiting in line, I saw someone go to the door marked “Passports.” A clerk told her she needed an appointment and the next available date was March 28. At more than $100 a passport, the federal government should be pressing for more applications, not rationing the service.

Someone came in looking for federal IRS forms. A postal employee said that the Oak Lawn branch (of a federal agency) doesn’t carry the forms but the Oak Lawn library (a city facility) does. Of course the library does. Our libraries — especially the Oak Lawn branch — are a great neighborhood resource. Does carrying forms generate business for either the library or the post office? The library appreciates your visit. The post office obviously doesn’t care if you buy anything from them while you’re there or not.

As for me, I will sign up for my last remaining bill — my city water bill — to be paid on line beginning next month. My last remaining piece of personal business with the post office is done. And I like doing things the old fashioned way. I have a rotary dial cell phone. But it would have been faster for me to drop the bill off at city hall than try to buy a stamp to mail it.

While the post office is deciding on whether or not to drop Saturday service, I don’t really care if they drop all service altogether.

—  David Taffet