September 14, 2011 | eva
Our Library Board of Trustees will hold the required Public Hearing on Thursday, September 15, at 7:30pm at the library to take public comment on and approve the library's 2012 budget (attached, with a comparison to our approved 2011 budget), levying a millage rate of 1.5437 mills to generate total revenue of $4.9 million. This is a reduction of about $40,000 compared to our 2011 budget, and a total reduction of about $1.9 million compared to our 2008 budget — 2008 was our "high-water" mark as far as revenues; the recession led to declining property values, which leads to reduced property tax collections and a smaller budget for library services.
The budget for 2012 is a very tight budget and reflects a number of cuts to every department and area of the library. As the recession continues and the library budget declines even more, we will be considering furlough days, layoffs, charging residents for certain library services, and further diminishing or discontinuing services, programs, and collections to meet our legal mandate to present a balanced budget. 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 library programs and events, 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