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Library to expand hours in early 2011

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Members of the Library Board of Trustees approved a temporary budget based on anticipated revenues from the recently passed levy at their regular session Dec. 9 at the Poland library.

The 2011 temporary budget has $18.62 million in operating funds, compared to the 2010 operating budget of $11.69 million.

At the meeting, trustees heard a report from Library Director Carlton A. Sears that work is under way to add open hours to libraries, as promised during the levy campaign.

“Hours will be increased by about 105 to 115 per week, which is a 16 percent or 17 percent increase,” he said.

Thirty library employees were laid off due to budget cuts in 2009 and hours were cut, with many libraries losing an entire day of open hours. Expanding the current schedule of hours requires an evaluation of staffing needs, then hiring and training appropriate staff. The process is under way.

Funds generated by the passage of the levy will not begin to be distributed to the library for several months. The projected timetable calls for expanding hours about the end of March or the beginning of April.

In other action, the board accepted the recommendation of the Service and Personnel Committee to adopt a five-year contract with Sears with no salary increase in 2011. Sears’ contract was to expire this month. He has been Library Director since February 1997.

Trustees approved a motion to accept the year two Gates Opportunity Online Grant of $24,700 and deposit it into the Technology Development Fund. In addition, the matching portion of the grant in the same amount will be transferred from the Library Foundation.

Fiscal Officer Susan Merriman reported that the library underwent two audits and both were clean audits with no findings. The library’s operating funds are reviewed by the state auditor and the Library Foundation’s funds are audited by Packer Thomas Certified Public Accountants and Business Consultants.