The Goshen Public Library board is seeking community input as it considers a variety of new spending reductions.
A public meeting will provide a platform for input on Monday at 4 p.m. in Room A/B at the library, 601 S. 5th St., Goshen.
The library has trimmed spending over the past few years, but with declining property taxes and income taxes, which together account for 80 percent of all library operating expenses, additionally cuts are needed, according to a press release from Andy Waters, library director. (The original version of this story didn't have this attribution.)
Since 2008, the library board has taken several steps to hold down spending, including not filling several full and part-time positions when they were vacated, freezing staff pay, reducing staff benefits, reducing spending for books and other library materials and cutting spending in other areas of the budget.
Within two months, the library will implement centralized check-in and check-out activities to just one main floor location and several self check-out locations, in order to allow some staff to focus on other work in the library.
Money for the alterations comes from non-operating funds or from Friends of the library donations, which cannot be used to support library operations.
Because library operating revenues are likely to continue to drop in 2012, the library board must now consider taking even more steps to reduce spending. The board is considering a tiered approach, undertaking less severe reductions first, assuming revenues do not drop too much more next year. If revenues do drop more than expected, more severe second or third tier-cuts may be considered.
First tier cuts include modestly reducing library open hours by around 10 percent. Those would include less frequented library times such as late weeknight hours. According to a release, those could begin as soon as this September.
The library may also continue to cut personnel through future attrition, if possible; to reduce spending for library books, audiovisual items and other materials; to look for ways to save on employee benefit costs; and to seek ways to reduce other areas of the operating budget.
The community can give feedback to the library board at the meeting Monday afternoon.