As Deep Budget Cuts Loom, the Dallas Genealogical Society Sends Out a Cry for Help

This morning, there were several e-mails in the Unfair Park in-box concerning City Manager Mary Suhm's latest suggestions for cuttinggutting the budget of the Dallas Public Library system. Two I'll need to set aside till Suhm calls back (she's in meetings all morning). But others direct our attention to a blog posting from geneologist Dick Eastman, who writes that the Dallas Genealogical Society is putting out the call for help in light of a proposal that would shut down floors three through eight at the downtown library -- including Humanities, Fine Arts, the Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division, the Fine Books Division, the Government Information center and the Genealogy Section -- for all but 24 hours a week. Right now, the proposal limits access to those floors to very limited hours Thursday to Sunday and decimates their respective budgets for materials.

The DGS is not only asking people contact council members (especially Angela Hunt), but it also "trying to form a coalition with like minded groups to save what is a great local and regional resource." From Eastman's blog:

The Dallas Public Library has one of the best genealogy departments of any public library in the United States. Sadly, that may soon end. The department is on the chopping block for the second straight year because of budget deficits facing the Dallas City Council.

The Dallas Genealogical Society warns, "We are heading for a disaster with the Dallas City Council refusing to even consider a tax hike to cover their $130 million projected budget shortfall. Since the Dallas Public Library system shares the same budget with essential services like Police and Fire, you know who will be deemed more 'essential.' To make matters worse the Library administration has decided to sacrifice the downtown research library for the branch libraries because the council representatives hear more from their voters about curtailing services in their particular area."