Director’s Corner

Dear Glenwood & Lynwood residents,

As we navigate library life after being closed for many months due to COVID-19 and its affects; we are seeing many changes on how the library operates–from requiring face coverings for all who enter the library, to virtual programming, and the ending & hiatus of certain services.

With that being said, the library had to make some tough decisions with our budget and be proactive to reverse course. We started in March 2020 up until the approval of the final budget on June 24, 2020.

We have to rewind to the past on how we got to where we are. Approximately 4/5 years ago, there was a change on debt service for the bonds & bond abatement ordinance wasn’t passed which no one knows why it happened. Our financial advisor speculates that the money that came in from property taxes painted a picture that the library had more than it actually had and the next year the new budget wasn’t adjusted taking that account.

Fast forward a bit to when I started in 2018 and the window replacement project started. The expensive but necessary replacement was required due to leaking windows causing wood & drywall rot with the potential for mold and other damage.

Other factors impacted our budget cuts which were:

-With COVID-19, the library didn’t receive the expected additional funding of $250,000 from the Spring 2020 collection and are unsure how future property tax collections will be impact us.
-The State of Illinois’ minimum wage mandate
-December 2018 Tax Refunds
-Decreased Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) for current year
-Estimated 10 to 11% decrease in EAV the next year
-Increased bookmobile operating costs
-Low interest received on Money Market/Savings Accounts due to COVID

Our budget cuts of $335,000 included:

-Salary & Cost of Living freeze
-Deep expenditure cuts
-Retiring of the bookmobile
-Operating hours reduced 9 hours per week once the new norm returns
-Reduction in Staff hours
-Layoffs

We are continuing to reduce costs by reviewing current costs with vendors and other services. We’re partnering with other non-profits & libraries as well as applying for grants for current & future services. We are looking into starting a Library Foundation which is a separate entity from the Friends of the Library.  A question was asked recently what about raising the Levy? That can’t be done as the library has hit its tax cap of 60 cents.

Our FY20-21 budget is available under our Board Agendas and Minutes if anyone is curious.

Sincerely,

Brian Vagt
Library Director

Updated: July 24, 2020

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