Thursday, February 03, 2011

Cuyahoga County Library: The CARE Facilities Master Plan - A Library for the Future

News from Cuyahoga County Public Library:

An Update from Cuyahoga County Public Library
Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) consistently ranks among the nation's best and busiest library systems. It has 28 branches that serve 47 communities. In 2010, our customers borrowed more than 20 million items and visited our branches more than 7.6 million times. We have set new usage records for seven consecutive years.

Our Economic Reality
CCPL's revenue was reduced by nearly $14 million (nearly $5 million in 2009 and nearly $9 million in 2010) due to state budget cuts and lower property tax collections. Additional cuts to state funding are anticipated as Ohio is facing an estimated $8 billion to $10 billion budget deficit.

In these difficult economic times we believe it would be irresponsible to ask taxpayers for additional funding. We are committed to living within our 2.5 mill levy - the lowest library millage in the county.
To address these reductions, our Board of Trustees has had to make tough choices to sustain our operations and reduce our operating costs. We eliminated 41 positions, froze wages in 2010, increased staff contributions to health care premiums and reduced our expenditures in advertising, grounds keeping, supplies, cleaning and travel. We have also cut our materials budget by more than $3 million.
But our 28 branches are open seven days a week. We have not reduced service hours and we are committed to keeping our doors open to provide access to our customers.

Facilities Master Plan
We are proactively preparing for difficult economic times. O ur Board has adopted a long-term financial plan called CARE: A Library for the Future (the Plan) that emphasizes Convenient, Accountable, Relevant and Effective library service. Please be assured that service to taxpayers is our top priority. The Plan exists for one reason - it is the best way to meet the needs of our district with limited resources.

The Plan will reduce our operating expenses over the long-term, by creating a sustainable footprint of library buildings across our service district and replacing our costliest facilities. This will reduce our operating and maintenance costs, resulting in significant savings each year. We are spending resources on this plan now because over the long-term it will ensure that the residents of the 47 communities we serve will continue to have access to excellent library service.