1) As a result of patron feedback and suggestions, our 2012-2015 Strategic Plan includes a comprehensive look at how library spaces are used, how that usage has changed over time, and what changes you'd like to see to improve our interactions with you. In addition to your feedback and suggestions, we also considered the entire building; the original library building is now 25 years old, and the library additions are now 12 years old. Much of our equipment and fixtures date back to the original construction and are due (some overdue) for replacement. In 2013, we were able, through donations and use of Fund Balance, to update and renovate some library spaces--new study rooms were added in the east wing of the library, and renovations were done in our Community Room and Quiet Study Room, as well as in the staff kitchen. These updates and replacements will continue in 2014 with updates to the main area of the library, with our Patron Service Improvement Project (PSI Project).
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 Garden City Public Library has announced that they will be open for thirty hours, five days per week, from July 18 through at least the November millage election. Unfortunately, these hours will not meet the minimum requirements for state certification. As a result, the Canton Public Library will not resume reciprocity with Garden City Public Library at this time.
In preparation for their anticipated closing due to lack of funding, the Garden City Public Library has announced that the last day they will lend materials is Thursday, May 26, 2011. GCPL will remain open to the public to use materials within the building until June 25, 2011.
The newly-created library board's announcement that they will open the Romulus Public Library for eight hours, one day per week, through the first week of July, and their plan to fund the library at .12 mills after that for service three days per week, is a great start to getting the new independent library started.
In preparation for their anticipated closing on May 1, the Romulus Public Library has stopped checking out all materials. As a member of The Library Network cooperative, the Romulus Public Library had a reciprocal borrowing agreement in place that allowed you to use neighboring libraries.
While we here at the Canton Public Library are happy to reciprocate with other communities, that reciprocity is based on mutual sharing; we cannot bear the financial burden of serving Romulus residents when Romulus is eliminating funding for their library.
That's what makes an article like this one from Scott Turow such a mood-lifter for the CPL family. Our featured author at our 2010 Everyone's Reading program, Mr. Turow spoke to a capacity crowd at the Village Theater last February, staying afterward to answer questions, autograph books, and talk to fans. Despite the bleak outlook for the next several years, we here at CPL will continue to strive for excellence in programs, collections, and services, meeting the needs of our community, as Mr. Turow outlines in his article, while maintaining a balanced budget and living within our means.
Governor Snyder released his budget proposal last week, and as expected, the news is grim. The cuts to public, school, and university libraries across the state are significant, and will affect the services that CPL will be able to provide to our community — namely, interlibrary loan and research databases.
The Governor has proposed cutting state aid to libraries to $3 million. The statutorily-required funding is $15 million. The current funding level of $5 million automatically qualifies the state to receive a federal matching grant of $5 million, which pays for MeLCat (statewide interlibrary loan) and the Michigan eLibrary (MeL — statewide research databases). Cutting state aid results in a cut to, and possibly a loss of, the matching grant, which puts MeL and MeLCat in jeopardy.
MeL and MeLCat exemplify the resource-sharing, aggregation of services, eliminating duplication of effort, and economies of scale that the Governor has emphasized over and over. More than 300 libraries — public libraries, K-12 libraries, and university libraries — pool this funding to provide services to Michigan residents. The $5 million investment by the state nets a $5 million matching grant, and saves taxpayers nearly $72 million annually, when you consider the cost to each library if they had to purchase these same resources on their own.
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, which all fall under the umbrella of "the recession:"
On September 10, library supporters will rally at the State Capitol in Lansing to encourage legislators to save the Library of Michigan and the important shared statewide resources, such as MeL databases and MeLCat interlibrary loan, that Canton Public Library users value. The rally will start at 9:30AM and supporters are asked to wear red shirts to show their support for statewide joint services.
The Governor's Executive Order dismantles the Department of History, Arts & Libraries and places the services of the Library of Michigan — both physical and online collections — in jeopardy. State funding and federal matching funds for MeLCat interlibrary loan and 25 MeL databases are at stake; due to the local economy and cuts to local funding associated with the recession, the Canton Public Library does not have the funds to pay for interlibrary loan or online genealogical, historical, or reference products if the state legislature does not act to maintain statewide library services — Canton residents would lose access to these resources.
The 2010 library budget process has begun, and the economic news continues to worsen. The library board of trustees, library administration, and library staff have so far focused on making cuts that have the least impact on our service to you, but as the recession deepens, the sad truth is that you will begin to see an erosion in library services.
In 2009, we reduced the library budget by 10%--a combination of falling property values and the vote by the board of trustees in August 2008 to voluntarily lower the library millage rate to reduce the burden on our economically-stressed taxpayers. In 2010, we are facing an additional cut of 6% to 10%. The total cuts over these two years will total more than $1 million from the library's 2008 budget of $6.4 million. We can no longer avoid making cuts that will affect your experience at the library.