On December 18th, the Library System of Lancaster County Board of Directors (appointed by the Lancaster County Commissioners) announced that they do not consider business services a priority and, as a result, cut 100% of the business services funding from the system budget. This decision was made unilaterally by the system board, with only two weeks’ notice and without discussion.
The following databases will not be renewed in 2014: ReferenceUSA, First Research, Simply Map, OneSource, Hoovers, Nexis, Business Insights, and Uniworld.
The database partnership between the Duke Street Business Center at Lancaster Public Library and the Library System of Lancaster County has been ongoing for eight years. Although the business librarians and print resources at the Duke Street Business Center are not funded by the County, the Center’s public support services will be crippled without the essential business databases.
Local entrepreneurs and growing businesses depend on access to the business databases for start-up information and new business development. Also, the Job Search Center (which serves CareerLink—Lancaster County’s employment services organization) utilizes these databases daily to assist its clients who are seeking employment. Further, the loss of database funding will severely impact at least one large local executive networking group that trains its unemployed members to use the databases to locate potential employers and network into those companies. Thus, the databases provide a vital function in the job search process for the unemployed of all levels. As can be seen from these examples, the loss of these database resources will have a direct and deleterious impact on our local economic development.
Please make your voice heard and sign this petition to restore funding for the business databases.
Entrepreneurs and growing businesses depend on access to the business databases; the loss of these resources will have an enormous and detrimental impact on Lancaster County’s economic development.
Why are non-business databases still funded in the 2014 budget, when the usage statistics indicate significantly higher public usage of the business databases?
Shouldn’t the opinions of the public and the business community end users have been sought in the decision to defund the databases?
Why weren’t the opinions and input of the Duke Street Business Center's Business Reference Librarians sought prior to this decision?
Could some of the Library System’s funds (about $900,000) currently present in a ‘rainy day’ reserve of taxpayer dollars be used to fund some of the more urgent database subscriptions until another solution can be found?
Again, we respectfully urge you to revisit the issue of funding for the business databases.