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When the people of Mahoning County voted last November, they showed that "I Love My Library" is more than a phrase.  Over 71% voted to support the library.  That support is deeply appreciated.  We thank you! 

 

What you should know: The November renewal levy was important because it kept in place the library’s only source of funding that has been stable.  Being a renewal, it did not raise taxes, which means the levy did nothing to fill the financial hole created when $2.24 million in funding was lost in 2009.  The Library has been filling the hole by reducing spending and continuing its quest of many years to be more efficient.    

 

Cost-cutting measures already taken: Spending cuts were implemented and 30 employees (15% of the work force) lost their jobs. As a result, hours that libraries could be open were reduced across the county.  Funds to purchase books, newspapers, and others things that people use were reduced.  The practice of setting aside funds to repair and upgrade old buildings and to replace aging technology was eliminated.  Every employee gave back on wage.  All of those reductions did not total the amount needed to make up for the lost revenue. 

 

Revenues expected to continue to drop: The story of rapidly declining revenue did not end in 2009.  We expect in 2010 that revenue will drop by another nearly $900,000.  The library entered 2010 knowing that before the end of this year it would need to find a way of coming up with the rest.    

 

Decisions needed:  Over the course of the coming months the people of Mahoning County will be hearing a lot about the choices the library faces.  We will also be sharing more specifically what’s at stake that may not be widely recognized or understood.

 

We want to hear from you: There is a lot at risk for the people of Mahoning County in the decisions that lie ahead of us.  We believe that it is important that the people in our community understand why. And we believe it’s important for those responsible for operating the Library and setting policy listen to what people have to say.

 

Connect with your Library by sharing your thoughts: As we plan for the future and discuss those choices, we want your input. You can sign in here to post a comment. Also hard copies of comment forms are available at your nearby public library.


Watch for another blog next week.

 

Let's get started: Tell us what you think about the information in this blog. Did you know the levy did not ADD money, but just maintained a current stream of funding? Did you know about all the cuts that have been made?  Is there more information you want?

 


I am glad the renewal passed.My concern is why do you feel it necessary to move the clerks, in North Jackson and Lake Milton, replacing them with a constantly changing parade of clerks who are not very familiar with the people in the communities or their needs. Many people I have spoken with are not very comfortable with a constantly changing clerk. I don't understand the necessity of this change.I know the library has hardships, but you don't seem to care about the extra expenditure for gas and inconvenience for the clerks to commute to whatever Library you assign them on that day. Please reconsider this decision.

Thank You
Posted by: longtimeuser at 6/23/2010 9:07 PM


Thank you for your input. We can understand how patrons in each community get to know our library staff and we recognize how important that can be. On the other hand, procedures established for staffing library branches are often complex and there are many considerations involved, such as cost-effectiveness and efficient use of staff. The clerks working at Lake Milton and North Jackson work in a unit that includes the Austintown Library and these clerks rotate among all three libraries so that hours can be shared and all staff members retain familiarity with all three buildings. Since the economy began to decline, our staff has been reduced and we are still working to provide the best possible service with a more limited number of employees. We hope you understand and continue to use your local library.
Posted by: Janet Marie at 7/16/2010 4:38 PM


Please Note: This blog is intended to provide information and receive constructive comments from the public. The Library reserves the right to remove posts which are not in keeping with the purpose of the blog.