Crozet Library Seeking Funding for More Library Hours

Received via email. This is the Albemarle County Budget.

Dear friends of Crozet Library,

The Albemarle County Executive’s proposed budget for FY2015, released recently, includes increased funding for the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library. Those increases cover:

1. Mandates required by the County’s requested changes to the revised regional agreement,
2. Additional costs due to the development of the new Northside Library,
3. Salary increases to bring JMRL staff pay closer to comparable County positions, part of a multi-year effort,
based upon the County’s recommendation of a professional salary comparison.

The budget presentation cover (screenshot attached) features our beautiful library and the community-volunteer-staffed Book Brigade.

What the proposed budget does not include: the $34,000 in funds needed to increase the hours the Crozet Library is open.

The County built it; we furnished it; and the community is using the library in unanticipated numbers. The librarians donated their time (and creative planning) to staff Exam Cram during the WAHS and Henley exam week and the library was filled with teens.

We are grateful for the support of the County and we know they have heard often from this community about the need for increased hours. We hope that hearing from the community now will help the Supervisors realize they could make a large number of Western Albemarle citizens happy with a relatively small amount of money.

If you care about increasing the hours the library is open, now would be the time to contact the Board of Supervisors with your concerns. Here’s how:

1. Attend this Wednesday’s (3/5) Board of Supervisor’s meeting at 9AM and speak for three minutes at their matters not on the agenda. This portion usually happens before 10AM. Tell your story about why having the library open additional hours is important to you. Thank them for their support and ask them to add back the $34,000 needed to fund Crozet Library’s additional hours.

2. Write the Supervisors via bos@albemarle.org, or write each supervisor, individually via:
Jane Dittmar    jdittmar@albemarle.org
Diantha McKeel   dmckeel@albemarle.org
Liz Palmer   lpalmer@albemarle.org
Brad Sheffield    bsheffield@albemarle.org
Ann Mallek    amallek@albemarle.org
Ken Boyd     kboyd@albemarle.org

3. Call the Supervisors. Contact information for each:    

They will be working through the budget over the next few weeks. Hearing from a number of people in the community could help them make this decision. If you’d like talking points, statistics about the overwhelming use the library is getting, or encouragement, please let us know.

Jane Kulow, Bill Schrader, and I are glad to help. We’ve all spoken to the Board in the last several weeks about this matter and now they need to hear this message from you.

Thank you for your consideration,

Tim Tolson
on behalf of the Build Crozet Library fundraising committee

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4 Replies to “Crozet Library Seeking Funding for More Library Hours”

  1. Wendy Saz, Crozet Library Branch Manager gently let me know that I mis-spoke when I said the librarians donated their time for the Exam Cram. She said, “Library staff did NOT donate their time for this event. We had to adjust our staffing schedule, but it would be inaccurate to say that any staff time for this event was donated. This was a planned and well publicized library program. We did not simply extend our hours.”

    My apologies for not fact-checking more carefully before sending the email.

    She went on to stress, “We are greatly in need of additional staff, even with our current hours, as we’re finding it nearly impossible to deal with the volume of materials handled daily in addition to the programs we are trying to continue to offer in the new branch…This is a very efficient building and staff, with materials moved quickly and effectively. Even with a high rate of efficiency, it has become more and more difficult to keep up with the sheer volume of ‘business’ we’re experiencing. Our statistics say it all.”

    Those statistics are summarized on the Crozet Community website, http://cca.avenue.org/2014/03/support-the-crozet-library-budget-request/

  2. Something is really wrong here. The library needs to figure out what it needs to do to generate the extra revenue that it wants. If there really is such a demand for their services it should not be too hard to do…

    1. What do you expect the library to do? Charge for the use of books! There is a library board that handles the financing issue. Don’t for one minute purport to dump this on the outstanding library staff we have here in Crozet.

      1. Hmm… Shift the hours the library is open to cover the times
        when demand is higher. There are different ways of doing it. Strange, this is about funding and you are trying to deflect the conversation towards staff? Typical. Charge for the use of books?? The library is not free. Someone is paying. And, someone is always asking. How high do you want the tax rate to go???

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