BALTIMORE, MD. (April 13, 2011) – Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the restoration of funding in the City’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget for the Enoch Pratt Free Library system, which will enable the libraries to maintain current operating hours at all neighborhood branches throughout the coming fiscal year.
The Preliminary Budget contained cuts in the library system budget that would have reduced operating hours. However, Mayor Rawlings-Blake pledged to restore all library funding if state aid was reduced less than expected. The funding restoration will build upon recent investments, including the renovation of the Reisterstown Road and Edmondson Avenue Branches of the Library.
“I am very relieved to be able to restore funding for our world class Enoch Pratt Free Library system. With this restoration, our library system will be fully-funded for two years in a row, despite $186 million in cumulative budget deficits over two fiscal years,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said. “As the mother of a public school student who uses the library system regularly, I understand the importance of a neighborhood library in the lives of Baltimore’s working families. I want to thank Governor O’Malley, the Baltimore City Delegation, and our supporters in the Maryland General Assembly for working with my administration to lessen severe reductions in state aid in a very difficult budget year.”
“We are extremely grateful for Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s support of the Enoch Pratt Free Library,” said Pratt Chief Executive Officer Carla D. Hayden. “This great news comes during National Library Week, when people across the nation are recognizing the contribution of libraries to local communities. The Mayor is strengthening the ability of this library system to assist the citizens of Baltimore and the State of Maryland. The Pratt is a critical component of the educational experience of thousands of young people, especially those in the public school system. More than two million people visited the Pratt Library last year to use computers, access books and resources, enjoy free programs, and receive career help.”
The Fiscal 2012 Budget plan was built around Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s priority outcomes for Baltimore. Below are the highlights for the Better Schools objective, which includes the Enoch Pratt Free Library system budget.
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