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Public libraries and their budgets in 2010


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An examination of the budgets of the public libraries of Brooklyn NY, Montclair NJ, and Northvale NJ, as three examples of public library by size and type in the Northeast US.

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Public libraries and their budgets in 2010

  1. 1. Public Libraries and Their Budgets in 2010<br />Three Case Studies<br />LIS 651-04<br />April 7, 2011<br />Vicky Ludas<br />
  2. 2. Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn NY<br />Municipal library founded 1897<br />Exempt from federal, state, and local income taxes<br />Run by 38-member Board of Trustees<br />Serves more than 2.4 million patrons:<br />Landmarked Central Library (Grand Army Plaza)<br />Business Library (Borough Hall)<br />58 Branch Libraries, 18 of which are Carnegie libraries<br />1,000+ employees<br />Per capita (as of 2008):<br />$31 in local revenue<br />2 books and 5 visits <br />Fifth-largest public library system in the U.S.<br />Photo source:<br />
  3. 3. BPL: 2010 Revenue<br />Total 2010 Revenue: $139,523,000.00 <br />
  4. 4. BPL: 2010 Expenses<br />Total 2010 Expenses: $138,707,000.00<br />
  5. 5. Budget Cuts: 2009 vs. 2011<br />Since 2009, city funding to the BPL has been reduced by $9.9m.<br />Resulting cuts:<br />Voluntary retirement<br />Layoffs<br />Cuts in OTPS (Other Than Personnel Spending)<br />160+ vacancies not filled<br />A mid-year reduction in 2010 of $4.6m led to:<br />$2m decrease in collections budget<br />More cuts in OTPS, often one-time savings<br />2011: $25.2m cut? <br />Worst-case scenario: 40% staff layoffs, 16 libraries closed, hours reduced everywhere else<br />
  6. 6. Montclair Public Library, Montclair NJ<br />Municipal library founded 1893<br />2002 Library of the Year Special Mention by Library Journal<br />Suburban library serving about 39,000 people:<br />Main branch, built 1955<br />Bellevue Avenue branch, built 1914 with Carnegie funds, now closed (though hopefully not permanently)<br />34 employees at both branches<br />Per capita (as of 2008):<br />$99 in local revenue<br />5 books and 8 visits<br />Public programs over the years:<br />Film series<br />Ballet company in residence<br />Art gallery<br />Cafe<br />Photo source:<br />
  7. 7. MPL: 2010 Revenue<br />Total 2010 Revenue: $3,530,136.00<br />* The base amount guaranteed by law is “1/3 of a mill,” about 33c per $1,000 of assessed value of a municipality’s land. Amount given can be increased but should not be less.<br />
  8. 8. MPL: 2010 Expenses<br />Total 2010 Library Costs: $3,509,879.00<br />
  9. 9. Budget Cuts: 2009 vs. 2011(proposed)<br />Expenses<br />
  10. 10. Northvale Public Library, Northvale NJ<br />Association library founded 1957<br />Borough library serving less than 4,500<br />1 branch, 4 FT and PT employees<br />Per capita (as of 2008):<br />$73 in local revenue<br />8 books and 6 visits<br />Member of Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS)<br />75-member cooperative that allows cardholders access to any of its libraries<br />The BCCLS membership fee requires that the library be funded like a municipal library<br />The sticking point for town budget issues – can Northvale afford funding the library to keep up with the fee for BCCLS benefits?<br />Source: Personal correspondence, V. Beckman, Director of Northvale Public Library, March 25-April 4, 2011.<br />Image source:<br />
  11. 11. Association Libraries<br />Established by vote of association members<br />Not municipally ownedor run<br />Employees are not municipal employees and thus are not paid government-funded benefits and pension<br />The public can volunteer for the association and vote for trustees<br />Can be funded by the municipality but as discretionary funding <br />Other potential income: membership fees, endowments, etc.<br />If the town decides it cannot afford to pay the library budget, the library will close <br />State laws often allow that association libraries can become municipal if the voters and town governing body approve<br />Fairly unique to Northeast, older libraries built before state laws about municipal libraries (so why Northvale…?)<br />
  12. 12. NPL: 2010 Income and Expenses<br />Total: $350,000.00 (approx.)<br />
  13. 13. Where are they now?<br />As of 7/1/11:<br />Brooklyn: <br />$23.2m of the proposed $25.3m cut was restored to the BPL budget by the NY Mayor and City Council, meaning no drastic cuts or layoffs though service will likely be reduced to 5 days a week instead of 6.<br />Montclair: <br />Through rallying efforts by concerned townspeople and a unique public-private alliance, the Bellevue Avenue branch has been reopened one day a week, with self-checkout machines in place of librarians for the time being. However, much of the budget was not restored, and Montclair libraries lost $800,000.<br />Northvale:<br />Unfortunately, the Northvale library could not be saved. Taxpayers voted against a tax increase and the town announced it could no longer afford the library, so it is to be closed in July.<br />
  14. 14. Works Cited<br />General<br />Henderson, E., Miller, K., et al. (2010). Public Libraries Survey: Fiscal Year 2008 (IMLS-2010–PLS-02). Institute of Museum and Library Services. Retrieved April 1, 2011 from <br />Brooklyn<br />Brooklyn Public Library (2011). About Brooklyn Public Library: Board of Trustees. Retrieved April 6, 2011 from<br />-- About Brooklyn Public Library: Hours and Locations. Retrieved March 30, 2011 from<br />Eisner Amper LLP (2010). Brooklyn Public Library Financial Statements, June 30, 2010 and 2009. Retrieved March 22, 2011 from<br />Johnson, L (2011). New York City Council Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Relations… Hearing on the Preliminary Budget. Retrieved March 30, 2011 from<br />LaVecchia, O (2011, June 28). NYC’s “saved” libraries experience déjà vu. The Awl. Retrieved 7/1/11 from<br />
  15. 15. Montclair <br />Drobness, T. (2011, January 13). Library budget for 2011 is going to be extremely bad. The Montclair Times. Retrieved March 22, 2011 from<br />-- (2011, March 31). Montclair Public Library needs $300k more in additional funds. The Montclair Times. Retrieved April 6, 2011 from<br />Hirsch, Y (2011). Montclair Public Library 2010 Budget. Personal correspondence, March 18, 2011.<br />McDonald, T. (2010, July 22). The free ($4.1 million) public library. The Montclair Times. Retrieved March 22, 2011 from<br />Montclair Public Library (2011). A Brief History of the Montclair Public Library. Retrieved March 22, 2011 from<br />-- (2011). Montclair Public Library Proposed 2011 Budget – Summary. Retrieved March 25, 2011 from<br />Speri, A. (2011, June 6). Private funds help keep Montclair library’s doors open. The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 7/1/11 from<br />
  16. 16. Northvale<br />Curley, M. (2011, May 12). Northvale library to close; board puts blame on council. Northern Valley Suburbanite. Retrieved 7/1/11 from<br />New York State Library (2009). Types of Public Libraries: A Comparison. Retrieved March 29, 2011 from<br />Superville, D. (2011, March 16). Shortfall may shutter library in Northvale. The Record. Retrieved March 22, 2011 from<br />