Hebron Dollars & Sense
- Created on Friday, 01 June 2012 14:16
For Immediate Release
We, the Board of Trustees of the Douglas Library of Hebron, strongly feel that our town’s library has been unfairly targeted in the latest rounds of budget cuts. We feel it is necessary to inform the residents of the Town of Hebron of certain facts regarding the library, which has been seriously underfunded for many years.
At the request of the Board of Selectmen we undertook a survey of the town residents. This survey indicated that the residents wanted the library open additional hours, wanted more materials (books, etc.) and programming among other items.
During the budget process this year we presented the survey results and requested some small additional requests: $2000 for Library materials and $1980 to open on Saturdays in July and August.
The book budget was cut immediately leaving it at the level it has been at for the last several years even though the cost of materials has increased. The Saturday hours were cut at the Special Selectmen Meeting on Thursday, May 24.
The Selectmen noted that $100,000 would be eliminated overall from the Town’s latest proposed budget.
The biggest blow to the well-being and functioning of the Library, however, was that the Board took approximately half of that amount from the library alone, which includes the cuts already mentioned, coupled with the elimination of the full time staff position for the Adult Services Librarian. This position is essential to the functioning of the library, yet it has been cut. The current occupant of the position is retiring in June and the Board of Selectmen decided to use this position to aid in the cuts they made in the budget. Serious reductions in services to the public will occur as the two remaining full time staff attempt to pick up the duties of that position. Story Hour for young children and the book discussions for adults are in serious jeopardy.
We, the Board, believe that the residents of Hebron should be aware that the Library contributes money to the General Fund of the Town of Hebron – the Library does not just take funds from the town. The Library Association is the beneficiary of a trust established by Dr. Douglas and each year about $18,000 in interest has been given to the town and deposited in the General Fund. The library also contributes about $500-$800 per month in monies collected in fines, fax, copy fees, etc. which again goes to the General Fund.
We urge all residents to express their outrage about this unfair lopsided cut to the library. The life of our library is at stake. The library, an institution valued by the town residents, is being unfairly targeted.
Please voice your displeasure before it is too late. You may phone the Town Office Building and speak with the Interim Town Manager, Andy Tierney at 860-228-5971 X122. Ask him to pass your concerns on to the Board of Selectmen, or phone the Selectmen directly. You may also sign our petition asking the Selectmen to reconsider their stance on these financial issues.
Board of Trustees
Douglas Library Association