Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Daily Thoughts 12/28/2010
I am reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Right now, I am heading out to the budget hearing for the City of Mount Vernon. I finished it on the way to the city budget hearing.
I went to the budget hearing for the City of Mount Vernon tonight. Not one of the public spoke in favor of the proposed budget. It would be a disaster for the library. We would be cut $500,000. Last years budget was $4 million dollars. The vice president of the board of directors for the library spoke and said that we would be in dire shape and would most likely run out of funds by midyear. There might be staggered layoffs.
We had a number of people speak in favor of the library. Some suggested that we might need a change in how decisions are made.
I usually don't speak. This time, I did. I said that the cuts in funding are leading to cuts in services to the library. Less people are available to help people and we are now closed one day a week. There is now one person serving at the reference desk most of the time. There is also often one person covering the circulation desk.
Without more funding, we could also lose our status as the central library for Westchester county. This loss of central status would lead to further cuts, we would no longer receive extra money for material and databases as the central library.
A lot of our material was purchased with central library funds. If another library takes on central library status, they can claim the material that was purchased with central library monies. This could affect our law collection, our job information center, our foreign language collection, our reference collection, and some other parts of the nonfiction collection.
It was imperative to reconsider how the library was being funded. Grants would not cover a $500,000 cut in budget for a single building.
Note: We are part of a library cooperative. Each member library is funded separately by the city they are part of. We pay money to share resources through the Westchester Library System for interlibrary loan, reserves, cataloging, an integrated library system, computer purchases, internet access, and other technology resources. In our case, the central status gives us specific responsibility and extra funds to serve the county through CLDA (Central Library Development Aide) which is administrated by the New York State Library http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/clda/index.html.
It is also important to understand that there is another $350,000 being charged against the library for retroactive pay that was put into effect in 2010. This is a statement from the board of trustees. http://www.mountvernonpubliclibrary.org/node/210