Tightening budget could cause Goshen library to shorten hours
Posted: 06/19/2012 at 7:00 pm
By: Marlys Weaver-Stoesz
Andrew Waters, the library’s executive director, explained that like other agencies funded largely by property taxes, revenues from those taxes have continued to decrease. Much of that is due to the recession, lower assessed values on local properties and tax caps, he said.
Sixty-five percent of the library’s revenues are funded by property taxes. That revenue has dropped by 22 percent since 2008, he said.
A committee from the Goshen Public Library’s Board of Trustees is reviewing the possibilities and will likely bring recommendations to help decrease spending to the board’s next meeting.
Waters said that could include cutting back the library’s open hours. Library leaders understand the importance of evening and weekend hours, when people are most available to visit the library, and the need for open hours beyond that, Waters said.
With staffing making up between 60 and 65 percent of the library’s costs, though, the library’s open hours directly correlate with its costs, Waters said.
“As a precaution, we’re looking at next year as a rough year,” he said about the library’s projected finances.
The library already scaled back hours and lowered some other expenses through attrition about a year ago, Waters said. At the same time, the library hosted a large public meeting for library personnel to go over the financial issues with the public. Waters said he told those at the meeting that the financial concerns could continue even with those cuts.
The next Goshen Public Library Board of Trustees meeting is set for 5 p.m. July 17 in the library’s Room A/B.