New Jersey Knowledge Initiative

Word comes to me from one of the librarians here at the college of yet another budget crunch. Though it directly affects those of us in NJ, it will probably resonate with educators in other places too.

Due to a New Jersey state budget cut of $1 million, the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative is threatened. NJKI provides New Jersey’s entrepreneurs, small business owners, researchers and students access to millions of top science and technology journal articles and key business information.

The NJ State Library received funding from the state legislature to develop the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative program. In 2005, members of the New Jersey Assembly and Senate Budget Committees supported the Knowledge Initiative program and helped secure $6 million in funding over two years.

Governor Jon Corzine allocated $3 million for the databases in his fiscal year 2008 budget, but because of state budget issues, $1 million was cut from the allocation. The databases are paid for, but after Feb. 28 the contract will be up and they will be shut down if the $1 million is not reinstated. More than 300 businesses and New Jersey colleges registered will lose access.

Time for Action: You can make a call to Governor Corzine's office at (609) 292-6000 or contact him online. Tell him that you're upset that the electronic resources funded by the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative will no longer be available as of February 28. If you are a user of NJKI, include an example of how it affects teaching and learning.

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