NS. CLAIRSVILLE – Voters will decide on November 2nd whether to extend the St. Clairsville Public Library operating levy.
Library director Doug Walsh promoted the submission to the public and spoke during Meet the Candidates Night on Monday at the city’s leisure center.
“It’s half a million levy” Walsh said before the meeting.
The five-year levy would stay at the level voters first approved in 2017, and the cost is $ 1.46 a month for the owner of a $ 100,000 home.
Walsh said library funding comes from two sources: the local levy and the state, which began cutting support less than 20 years ago. The library of St. Clairsville has received donation support since 2018.
He said the library gets about 75,000 visits in a typical year and people get help with research, employment, and technology about 3,000 times a year. He said that 2,000 adults participate in the library’s educational and recreational programs and people borrow 70,000 books and materials annually.
Walsh added the library had issued more than 2,000 test kits that were distributed on behalf of the state.
Walsh said prior to the donation, the library spent $ 25,761 on new books and materials in 2017, compared to $ 92,611 in 2001.
“When we received the levy, we doubled this amount and have increased it every year since then.” said Walsh. “We get a lot more material. We buy a lot more and that requires staff to research what materials we want to buy that speak to the people in our community. All of these materials have to be cataloged. “
New supplies that were purchased with royalty dollars now have a sticker on the inner cover that credits the royalty for their purchase. Walsh pointed out new materials that were available in the library lobby for greater convenience.
Walsh also emphasized public relations.
“The number of programs we offer is really important. We are service-oriented, customer service-oriented and that needs staff “, he said. “We want to further improve our customer service and continue to respond to the needs of the community.”
He said further improvements are in sight. The library’s board of trustees recently revised the strategic plan following it from the ward and staff.
“We’ve reduced it to a series of bold new steps for the library.” he said. A future project is permanent “History hike” created in collaboration with the city. It can be installed in autumn or winter and launched in spring. “It’s a multi-year plan, but there was a grant.
“Another big initiative is reaching out to the underserved and we are exploring different ways to do this, be it home delivery of materials or working with the senior residences. We’re still shaping that. Another is to have an overall plan for the facilities that we maintain regularly and look after the building as it needs to be maintained. “
Should the levy fail, Walsh said, these efforts would be called into question.
“The levy is now over 30 percent of our total budget, so it would be a 30 percent cut.” he said. “An older building like this, it’s almost 100 years old and needs some care and maintenance to keep it going. We would still be able to do the basic maintenance but as for updates to make it more energy efficient to approve the flow and layout. … Before the handover, we had a roof leak and the foundation had to run several fundraising campaigns to help us pay for this roof leak. “
The library was also able to quickly repaint the library ceiling when the paint peeled off.
“You might not do things like that if we hadn’t received the dues. We would probably look at the number of staff and the services we have. We would have to reduce to the bare essentials. So much for school programs and senior residences and the number of programs we offer. The summer reading programs can be scaled down. The number of items we buy, we buy a lot of e-resources. We have a lot of people in our library for our size … who borrow e-books and e-audiobooks online, and we would have to accept losses in purchasing these materials as well. “