2011 Budget Process Underway for CPL
The budget outlook for the library remains bleak in 2011. As I wrote last year, the deepening recession and declining property values mean less money coming in to the library — 95% of our 2010 revenues come from taxes Canton property owners pay to support library programs, collections, and services — which means more cuts for the next several years.
In 2011, our budget will drop another $300,000, to $4.9 million, bringing our cumulative total cuts since 2008 to $1.6 million. $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.
The library board, library administration, and library staff have cut our budget from $6.5 million in 2008 to a proposed $4.9 million in 2011. The $1.6 million in cuts represents more than just a 25% drop in revenue — it represents fewer materials, fewer classes, fewer services, longer lines, longer phone holds, longer waits for popular materials, larger class sizes, and a staff who are stretched thin. We have made investments in equipment and technology to help us cope somewhat with fewer staff and increasing usage, and implemented efficiencies in our processes and workflows to save time and money. I cannot say enough about the hard work and positive attitudes of my coworkers.
Many area libraries are cutting daily hours, closing permanently on certain days, and instituting furlough days and staff layoffs. Many of you have spoken to me personally about the Troy Public Library's pending complete closure in June 2011, Wayne Public Library's permanent closures on Sundays and Mondays, reduced hours at Farmington Community Library and Garden City Public Library, and mandatory furlough days at Bloomfield Township Public Library, and your concern that CPL may be headed down this path. The honest truth is that we may — despite our best efforts to continue our services to families, children, parents, teens, business owners, job seekers, older adults, aspiring citizens, and returning students — be implementing some of these cost-cutting methods.
Work on the library's 2011 budget has begun, as has work on projections through 2013. The outlook is grim — we anticipate that our 2013 budget will take us back to our 2001 funding level of just over $4 million. The library board and I remain committed to making the tough decisions necessary to craft the required balanced budget. The draft budget will be presented to the library board at their August 19 meeting, and the budget hearing and vote will take place at their September 16 meeting. Both meetings begin at 7:30PM and are open to the public. We value your suggestions, opinions, and ideas as we continue to weather this financial storm.Best,
Eva M. Davis, Director