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Library Forced to Make Service Cuts in 2014

The Library’s Board of Trustees approved a $4,129,529 budget for 2014-15 that cut the proposed budget by $433,000, after the Park Ridge City Council rejected a request for a 5 percent increase in the Library’s tax levy.
Since 2009, the City Council has reduced the Library levy three times and eliminated a total of $100,000 in revenue sharing. As a result, the Library now receives $450,000 less per year from property taxes than it received in 2008.
The Library Board has reviewed numerous alternatives to reduce expenditures and increase revenue while maintaining as many core services as possible. However, faced with less income and increasing costs, the Board approved cuts in several keys areas, including a $73,600 reduction in the new library materials budget. This means that the Library will have less to allocate toward the purchase of new materials than it has in 14 years. Additionally, the Board reduced personnel costs by $182,200 and postponed repairs and upgrades to the building.
Along with cutting expenditures, the Board is evaluating numerous measures designed to help increase revenue, including a new policy of charging non-residents for computer use, DVDs, video games, programs and computer classes. The Board and staff continue to explore other options for increasing revenue, such as charging all patrons for DVDs, video games and select programs. The Board is preparing a survey seeking community input on charging residents to attend Library programs.
"While we have been holding the line on spending and making reductions in several areas over the past five years, it simply hasn’t been enough to bring expenses in line with current income," said Janet Van De Carr, Library Director. "What’s more, if the Library levy remains flat, the Board anticipates even more reductions to Library services and further deferment of building repairs over the next several years."
According to Van De Carr, the 2014-15 budget cuts will affect the Library’s service in the following ways:
     The Library will purchase fewer new materials for circulating collections
     Some online databases/reference sources will be eliminated
     The number of programs for children and families will be reduced
     The Library will be closed on Sundays between Memorial Day and Labor Day and will be open for four hours instead of five during the rest of the year on Sundays
     The Library will close on Fridays at 5 p.m.
     Participation at community events such as First Fridays, Earth Day, National Night Out, Taste of Park Ridge, the monthly Pub Quiz and others will be eliminated
For more information, please call Janet Van De Carr, Library Director, at 847-720-3203 or send an email to librarydirector@prpl.org. Founded in 1913, the mission of the Park Ridge Public Library is to provide the community with access to information, recreation and enlightenment by promoting materials, programs and services.

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