State Lottery Provides Much-Needed Library Funding

Wendi L. Vaughn

The GCC library has received new funds in the amount of $44,000 from the state lottery, an allocation mandated by Proposition 20: The Cardenas Textbook Act of 2000.

Proposition 20 mandated that beginning with 1998-99, 50 percent of any growth in state lottery funds for public education, K-14, over the 1997-98 fiscal year be allocated for the sole purpose of purchasing instructional materials.

This act allows GCC to use the funds to purchase new books and other instructional materials for the library. Funds are divided among schools according to enrollment numbers.

The Education Code has defined instructional materials as: “All materials that are designed for pupils and their teachers as a learning resource and help pupils to acquire facts, skills, or opinions or to develop cognitive processes.”

Ruth McKernan, dean of library and learning resources, made a request to the Budget Review Committee that the money from Proposition 20 be permanently allocated to the library to purchase books, textbooks, serials, periodicals, and CDs.

The Budget Review Committee, which is a governance committee composed of students, faculty and other classified staff, approved her proposal, which was finalized by the Board of Trustees. The library has already received this year’s funding.

“Having an additional permanent base of funding will help alleviate our much-used, but inadequate library materials,” said McKernan.

“Currently, Glendale spends $6.44 per student on library materials, compared to the average $8.05 for the 20 California Community Colleges our size.”

McKernan said the money allocated for this year is a retroactive combination of proposition 20 funding for the last two years. Campus controller Ron Nakasone said that the library’s annual funding should be around $44,000.

“It will also fluctuate depending on how great an increase the Lotto makes year to year,” said McKernan.

McKernan plans to spend the funds on new updated reference books and other texts rather than computer databases.

“The state currently gives us money for the databases provided on the computer,” said McKernan. “With the Internet students find quick information which makes them think, `Why do we need books?’ But books are best for knowledge. Someone has actually sat down and put a lot of thought into them.”