Montana Libraries Losing Databases
The Montana State Library found out it would be losing expected tax revenue for the current 2015-17 budget, and in mid-May, another $166,000 was cut. As revenue directed to Montana libraries from the coal severance tax decline, public and school libraries will lose access to a collection of research databases.
Billings’ high school librarians strongly oppose the move. A recent state library task force identified a database package paid for by the state and used by libraries across Montana as most opportune for decreasing investment. The Montana State Library Commission also previously voted to reduce database funding in April.
A Commission letter sent out to libraries May 25 says they are making the best choices available that will allow them to continue to serve libraries and Montanans. Students at West High who use the databases disagree. Thousands of scholarly, peer-reviewed articles published in academic journals are used by students for research.