The Archbold Community Library Board took the first step toward placing a property tax levy on the spring 2014 ballot at its Wednesday, Aug 14 meeting.
The board authorized Jennifer Harkey, library fiscal officer, to contact Brett Kolb, Fulton County auditor, to officially certify the proposed millage amount.
While the board took no action setting the amount of the levy, it leaned toward renewing the current seven-tenths (.7) of a mill levy, made up of an original four-tenths (.4) of a mill plus three-tenths (.3) approved in 2009.
The levy brings in about $133,000 a year.
“We’re getting by,” Harkey said.
“More money would be nice, but it’s not entirely necessary.”
“Even if we renew our present levy, if the economy tanks again, we could put a levy on at any time,” Joyce Klingelsmith, library director, told board members.
“We asked for more money five years ago. We’re still the best deal in town for what you pay.
“I will admit, I am a cautious person. I don’t like asking for money as long as we are able to make it with what we have. I am sensitive to other people’s financial situations.”
In addition to property tax levy funds, the library receives money from the State of Ohio Public Library Fund.
But state support has declined.
“In 2001, we received $308,700 from the PLF. Last year, we got $207,909,” said Klingelsmith.
“That’s a loss of $100,000 in 11 years. That’s a signifi- cant amount. We’ll never get that back. The state won’t allow it.
“We will have to make do with what we have.”
Klingelsmith said the present levy is set to expire in 2014.
“It has been our practice in the past to always go on (the ballot) in the spring. If it fails in the spring, it goes on again in the fall,” she said.
It was noted that the library spent about $222,000 by July while bringing in $220,000; but in August, Klingelsmith said the board received a check for the second half distribution of property taxes.
The total was about $52,000.
Klingelsmith said many organizations run on a July 1-June 30 fiscal year, so many bills are paid in July.
For example, the bill for deliveries for the interlibrary loan program for the year was $4,713. That was paid in July.
There was nothing out of the ordinary, Harkey said.
Harkey also said the library received a rebate of about $400 from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, and that the annual book sale had brought in $2,225 by August, more than last year’s total book sale revenue of $2,125.
This year, the books offered for sale were set out in the library.
“The staff thought the book sale went better,” Klingelsmith said.
“We still have people browsing through stuff. I think we’ll just leave it out there until people stop looking at it.”
Klingelsmith said the library received a donation of $100 from Jan & Phyllis Weber, in memory of Olen Genter. The money is designated for childrens books.
Harkey said the library was audited for fiscal years 2011 and 2012. She said the audit went well, but does not have an official report yet.
The cost of the audit was estimated at about $3,400.
In reviewing circulation reports, board members noted that the circulation of eBooks, books borrowed through the Internet, had increased dramatically, anywhere from about 47% to 67%.
In July 2012, 444 eBooks were borrowed through the Archbold library. In July 2013, 741 eBooks were borrowed.
The number of persons coming to the library to use the Internet has also increased, said Jay Budde, board member.
Jed Grisez, board president, asked if the eBook program created more work for library staff.
“We have nothing to do with it,” Klingelsmith said.
On occasion, she said staff helps a patron with checking out eBooks, but otherwise, they are not involved in the process.
Board members Terri Krebs and John Bamonte were absent.
The next board meeting is Wednesday, Oct. 9, 7 pm at the library.–David Pugh