Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Director's Corner by Sandra Collins

The Fall season is always an interesting time of the year for Northland. By September 16th of each year the Northland Public Library Authority Board is required to adopt an operating budget for the following calendar year. The Board adopted budget is then sent to the elected boards of the 5 supporting municipalities, who have 60 days to adopt or reject it. Those municipalities – Bradford Woods, Franklin Park, Marshall Twp., Town of McCandless and Ross Twp. – provide approximately 56% of Northland’s funding. Northland receives about 34% of its funding from the RAD and state aid. The remaining 10% is self-generated (late fines and other fees, book sale revenues, grants, etc.).

Due to current economic conditions, the budget planning process for 2010 has been an interesting process.. The 2010 budget adopted by Northland’s Board of Trustees includes:
• No increase in funding from the 5 supporting municipalities,
• A 13% increase RAD funding,
• A 38% decrease in state aid and related state funding,
• A 30% decrease in self-generated revenue.

The result is a 2010 budget that is 6% less than 2009 and like everyone trying to cope in the changing economy, that loss of more than $141,000 will bring changes. The reduced funding causes:

• A hiring freeze through December of 2010.
• The bookmobile stops in Ross Township and Marshall Township will end as of December 31, 2009.
• A 38% decrease in the amount available to purchase books and materials in 2010.
• A 21% decrease in the library technology budget
• Reductions to some employee benefits.

On the other side of the picture, the community’s use of Northland in 2009 has risen dramatically when compared to 2008. Visitors to the building increased by 6.7%, items borrowed increased by 11%, attendance at programs and classes increased by 15%, computer use by 8.5% and assistance with research increased by 25%.

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