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Library Board to discuss $2 million shortfall in 2013 budget
The Pierce County Library System’s Board of Trustees will be discussing the 2013 budget, recognize Friends groups, get an update on building renovations, and review other issues during its October meeting next week.
The Board of Trustees will meet from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Library’s Processing and Administrative Center, 3005 112th St. E., Tacoma.
The main item on the agenda is the library's 2013 budget.
Managers will present proposals to address a $2 million budget shortfall in the Library’s projected $25,508,632 budget for 2013. The shortfall is primarily because of lower property values from residences and buildings, resulting in less tax revenue for the Library. The Library’s funding priorities include: maintain services funded by voters from a 2006 tax levy; be good stewards of taxpayers’ investment; provide up-to-date and future-oriented services; and build a base of customers for the future.
Managers are proposing three primary strategies to close the $2 million gap:
• Reduce spending on books, movies, e-books and other materials: better align selections of books and materials with customers’ needs and use.
• Replace bookmobile service: stop running costly and aging bookmobiles and deliver library service less expensively with a van directly to schools with high rates-of students from low-income neighborhoods.
• Decrease spending on capital improvements: in recent years the Library has invested in buildings, such as new roofs, heating and cooling systems, and carpet. Managers evaluated further building improvements and determined less money will be needed in the near term because of these recent projects.
Other items on the agenda include:
Thank you to Friends of Libraries and Pierce County Library Foundation: to thank Friends of Libraries and the Library Foundation for their time and resources, at the meeting the Board will proclaim "National Friends and Libraries Week" during the week of Oct. 21-27. All 18 libraries have friends groups that raise funds for events and furnishings, as well as share information in communities about services. The Foundation extends services beyond taxpayer funding and currently supports bringing books and materials to day care centers throughout the county, as well as supporting resources to help people get skills to compete in the job market.
Building renovations: Customer Experience Director Sally Porter Smith will take the Board on a virtual tour of some of the recent improvements to library buildings. The renovations have focused on improving service for customers; installing one-stop customer service desks where staff answer people’s questions and help them use library services. People also have new ways to find and check out movies, which includes movie machines similar to Red Boxes in some locations.
The Library System has been serving people in Pierce County for 66 years. The Library’s service area now spans 1,800 square miles and the Library serves an estimated 555,000 people.