ACLS FY2016 Budget Presentation
below is a copy of our budget presentation to the County Commissioners on Thursday 3/19,2015.
FY2016 Budget Presentation
Thank you for having us present today
I would like to recognize the Library Board members who came out today to show their support just as they do everyday as the library’s representative in the community.
Allegany County Library System is busier than ever
See the dashboard for FY 2014
Some may think that now that library collections, are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and can be downloaded and used from home school or office, that our facilities are less important. But that turns out not to be true,
With over 300,000 walk in visitors last year, Our 6 locations are busier than ever with kids, teens, and adults. And the vibe that is created in the give and take between library staff, library users, and library materials creates an energy and excitement that can be found at all our libraries.
but right now, there is a special energy at our South Cumberland Library because we are preparing for the complete renovation of the facility since its opening in 1982.
We are in the architectural drawings and engineering phase of the renovation project. We are planning a more open, colorful, library with the flexibility to take care of current concerns and position us to take advantage of whatever comes in the future.
We expect construction to begin in summer of 2016 and take about 6 months.
As you can see we are busy in the library system and there is always something happening, but we are working more and more with other partners to reach our goals. And our goals are the same as yours and our partners to make Allegany County the best that it can be and to provide our citizens all the opportunities they need to succeed and to make the most of their lives and community.
For example, Two Saturdays ago we celebrated School Readiness Fair at the County Club Mall with over 30 community partners making sure kids were as prepared as they could be for school and how they could take advantage of the many services available to them. We saw just over 2000 people walk thru.
Hug a book month
Coming this April we are partnering with the Frostburg State University Children’s Literature Center for Hug a Book Month. Inspired by the book, Hug Machine by Scott Campbell, we will be promoting the Children’s Literature Festival by photographing kids and families hugging their favorite books at all 6 library locations. Scott Campbell, the author will also be visiting the LaVale Library to speak to the community as well as classes from Parkside and Cash Valley Elementary schools.
Working with the Frostburg Center for Creative Writing, we have started an
Indie Lit Book club to promote our joint Indie Lit Festival held each October. We also like to support the small and regional publishers in our area, while also bringing new literary talent to our community .
We are participating in Free Comic book day on May 2, 2015.
Free Comic Book Day is is the comic book industry’s annual event where they give away comic books. Since there are no comic book stores in Allegany County, we are standing in their place and using the event to promote our summer reading club.
Our Summer reading clubs are a great way to keep in touch and keep reading over the summer for kids and learners of all ages. Last year we had over 14,000 participants of all ages. Again this summer we will have a rotating series of events every Wednesday at every library from June to August.
For Next Fall and Winter we are in early stages of offering a series of programs to connect our community to opportunities in science, engineering, and math and include the local companies that are looking for people with those skills.
Working with the Allegany Arts Council, next winter we hope to introduce digital art days. This program is to introduce students to digital arts technologies, which are used in a host of industries, including those that require STEM-trained employees.
We need these partnerships to reach the goal of making Allegany County the best that it can be because our dollars have to start to work before we get to the starting line. In some Maryland counties, the building maintenance and utilities are paid out of the County’s budget and not the library’s budget. So not only do they receive more funding, but they can spend all of it on direct services like collections and story hours.
Proposed FY2016 Operating Budget
Turning from a system snapshot to the actual budget request…
The recession of 2008 has been tough for us and took the wind out of our sails, we thought we had crested the hill, but the 1.2 billion dollar deficit revealed in November forced us to make some unpopular choices in how to provide services in the future.
In the proposed FY2016 operating budget we are focusing on maintaining and improving the services most used by the community we serve. In doing so, we have shifted scarce funding from staffing to collections, technology, and maintaining current facilities and furnishings.
Please see Table 1 for the proposed FY2016 Revenue.
Since the recession of 2008, the Allegany County Library System has used a significant portion of its Board Restricted Funds to maintain hours. Those funds are now at absolute minimum levels and can no longer be used to buoy the operating account and keep the doors open
The mandated $1 per capita increase in Maryland funding unanimously approved in the 2014 General Assembly has been scaled back to a $0.27 increase. This partial increase cannot be guaranteed and remains in jeopardy for the duration of the current session of the General Assembly.
In the last 2 years we have used grant funding to support additional part-time staff at our libraries to maintain hours. As we prepare for the renovation of the South Cumberland Library in FY2017, those funds (in FY2016 and FY2017) will be diverted to provide the furniture and equipment funds needed to complete the renovation. Neither State Capital nor County funding can be used for “Furniture and Equipment.”
Given this revenue forecast, we must adjust our hours to reach our goals within the funds available. Hours of operation will be maintained at 3 library locations while the hours at the remaining 3 libraries will be adjusted to maintain operations across the county. By adjusting the hours of operations, savings will be gained as staffing will be reduced at all libraries. Total weekly hours of operation of ACLS will go to 249 hours per week from 296 hours per week.
Please see Table 2 for the proposed FY2016 Expenses.
While total expenditures will decrease in FY2016, we have expanded funding in those areas that are core services as determined by our community. Increases in spending will occur in collections (materials to loan); technology (ensuring robust and speedy library network, internet access, and public computers); and maintaining library facilities and furnishings.
Savings in the Wages & Salaries line are due to the realignment of hours across the library system. Specifically, 3 of 12 positions will be renewed for FY2016 to support minimum staffing at the libraries with the 54 hours per week schedule.
The increase in Health Insurance costs are associated with increases in the premium rates and administrative fees in the County’s insurance plan.
All of our libraries serve as community meeting and gathering places. To maintain them as functional, inviting, and sufficiently furnished libraries, we have increased funding in the Equipment and Repairs budget line. The increase will begin a furnishings and coverings improvement program that will refurbish furniture and other wall and floor coverings on an ongoing basis. Since the 2008 recession only emergency repairs have been completed and all of the facilities and furnishings are showing significant signs of wear.
Like the facilities and furnishings, our computer and technology replacement cycle has been suspended since the 2008 recession. The additional funds designated in the IT Systems budget line will restart the computer and network equipment replacement cycle at all locations.
We will spend an additional $30,000 on our collections in FY2016. In our community, which has the 2nd lowest Median Household Income and is ranked 3rd in poverty in the state of Maryland, providing as many free resources to the people we serve should be a priority. Despite this increase in funding, our collections spending would still be below the pre-recession 2008 levels
We are requesting the same amount for FY2016 as we received in FY2015. These funds make up a proposed budget that realigns the hours of operation across the Allegany County Library System to yield improved collections, facilities and technology for the community we serve.
Going forward we will invest our scarce resources into our collections, facilities and technology in support of our community rather than defer action in the hope of a better fiscal picture “next year.” It is our long-term goal that providing the additional materials, robust Internet access, and well-maintained facilities will promote additional individual opportunities and yield increased economic vitality for the entire county.
Nonetheless we at the library are committed to combating the opportunity gap so that where a child grows up does not determine where he or she ends up.
 2012 Maryland Statistical Handbook, Tables 2A and 2K, http://www.planning.maryland.gov/msdc/md_statistical_handbook12.pdf