2011 Approved Budget
At its September Budget Hearing, the Library Board of Trustees approved the library's 2011 budget (attached, with a comparison to our 2008 budget, which was our last budget before the recession hit), levying a millage rate of 1.5437 mills to generate total revenue of $4.9 million. This is a reduction of about $300,000 compared to our 2010 budget, and a reduction of about $1.6 million compared to our 2008 budget.
$4.9 million is the size our budget was in 2004, when we served 15,000 fewer people, checked out 600,000 fewer items, and had 40% more staff. It is ironic that these library cuts come at a time when our community needs us now more than ever to help you cope with the down economy. In 2011, further cuts have been made to nearly all line items, notably staffing, materials, supplies, and programming.These necessary cuts are a result of several factors:
- Local property taxes account for 95% of our budget, and falling property values in the Township translate to fewer local property tax dollars coming to the library. Because of the falling values, the average homeowner will see a decline of about $8 in their library taxes paid in 2011 compared to 2010
- Budget woes at the state level trickled down to mean less state revenue sharing to fund library services, both locally and at the statewide level for joint library services. The state legislature has not yet approved the FY2011 budget, so rather than anticipate revenue sharing that may never come, the library's 2011 budget reflects zero state aid dollars coming to us
- Interest on our bank accounts and investments is way down compared to prior years due to lowered interest rates
- Donations, again mirroring the economy throughout the nation, are also way down compared to prior years
The budget for 2011 is a very tight budget and reflects a number of cuts to every department and area of the library. As I reported previously, as the recession continues and the library continues to take a hit, we will keep doing our best to provide services with less funding. Unfortunately, the further cuts coming in 2011 will affect our services to you.
You will continue to see fewer staff assisting you when you visit the library. You will continue to see longer lines for service when you need assistance. You will continue to see increased wait times for popular materials. You will continue to see fewer copies of items. You will continue to see services diminished or discontinued — one-on-one appointments with librarians, roving staff who provide direct assistance on the public floor, magazine subscriptions, research sources and databases, on-demand in-depth computer assistance, and paid performers or instructors at programs. We will no longer be able to buy as many books or other materials you suggest for purchase. You will continue to see fewer sessions of computer classes, storytimes, and other programs, and the audiences will grow so that we can accommodate public demand with our reduced staff.
As this recession continues and our revenues decline further, we will be considering furlough days, layoffs, charging residents for certain library services, and further diminishing or discontinuing services, programs, and collections. Thank you for your suggestions on how we can continue to provide the excellence you expect given the bleak financial outlook.
Our Friends of the Library have been invaluable partners and supporters, committing to a donation of nearly $25,000 to pay for all library programs and events in 2011, ensuring that you and your family continue to have quality experiences at storytimes, computer classes, and enrichment programs for all ages. These donations are made possible by your purchases at the Secondhand Prose used bookstore, which is run by the Friends and is their main fundraising effort.
I continue to be proud of my staff for their teamwork, grace under pressure, suggestions for balancing the library budget, and their dedication to this community. I am privileged to work with a library board that is forward-thinking and dedicated to their roles as sound financial stewards of your tax dollars. I am grateful to the Friends for their advocacy and support. These are tough times, and I know I speak for everyone here when I thank you for your continued patronage of the library.
Eva M. Davis, Director
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