Delta County residents have been facing tough economic challenges over the past several years. In response, the libraries have been providing more services, such as increasing the number of computer training and GED classes, adding virtual workforce centers that aid job seekers and the unemployed, and working with children and teens to improve their reading skills, as well as providing programs and materials for entertainment and learning.
"Our libraries are also facing real challenges this year," says Ann Murphy, library board president. "While our libraries are being used as never before, our revenue is decreasing and our costs are increasing."
With property values and resulting tax revenues down 13 percent in the county, Delta County Libraries is expecting a budget shortfall of approximately $191,000 for 2012. Decreased revenue and increasing fixed costs are presenting challenges for the library district. A fundraising campaign is planned to help make up the difference.
"Use of our libraries continues to grow and the demand for more materials is also growing," says Annette Choszczyk, library district director. "Circulation of physical materials, for example, increased 15 percent at the Paonia and 6 percent at Cedaredge and Hotchkiss libraries in 2011. Use of our technology is skyrocketing at all locations."
"Since 2009, our collection budgets have gradually decreased as the economy worsened," Choszczyk states. "We have been falling behind more each year because the cost of materials continues to increase as well as the variety of formats of materials. Of course, at the same time, our patrons want us to have the newest, popular formats, such as electronic books."
Delta County Libraries are already far behind other comparable libraries in terms of materials expenditures. In 2010, Delta County Libraries spent 58 percent less than the average amount spent on collection materials, print and non-print, by five Colorado libraries comparable in population size. In 2009, it was 61 percent less.
"Since we do not want to cut back on services or staff if at all possible," explains Murphy, "we will use some of our reserves since the library district manages the budget carefully to assure that some funds remain in reserve for times of need."
"But, we already know that 2013 will be a year of reduced revenue, so we are beginning a district-wide fundraising campaign to raise $50,000. This amount will allow us to fund new materials at the same levels as last year," Murphy says.
"Our library friends groups have already begun contributing to the campaign," Murphy says. "If you are interested in our fundraising drive, you can begin by donating at your local library and participating at one of our upcoming fundraising events."blog comments powered by Disqus