2013-01-03 / Columns


Library could use some monetary help

We hope all of you had a warm Christmas, fun in the snow, and a Happy New Year.

At the library, the start of a new year means a new budget for operating expenses. Unlike Santa, it’s looking pretty slim.

Some people are surprised to learn that the Lindale Library is not owned and operated by the city of Lindale, although the city does give us $40,000 a year of the approximately $150,000 needed to keep the library open.

Our wonderful Friends of the Library have pledged another $16,000 per year, through their fund-raisers. To make up the big deficit, we depend on other fundraising events and donations by local businesses, clubs and individuals. We can and do apply for grants for furniture, shelving, computers and help with our high-school intern salaries.

There are no grants to pay for operating expenses— salaries, insurance, utilities and maintenance.

We’ve reduced our 2013 budget in many ways. We can no longer afford to subscribe to computer programs such as Ancestry.com and Mango Language lessons, and we may have to drop our Resume Maker program.

We have started charging $2 for our Inter-Library loans, to cover the postage to and from other libraries for books we do not have. (This $2 charge does not apply to normal book checkouts.)

We’ve had to cut our budget for new audio books from $2,400 per year down to $700. We’ll purchase new books only when we have funds to pay for them. We’re considering a reduction of hours and/or days that we’ll be open.

Right now, we need to make repairs to our Wi-Fi system, and to update both library computers and our free public access computers.

We can send faxes and make copies, but we’re having problems printing materials from all computers. All these items need to be addressed, even as operating expenses keep climbing.

You can help by making a donation to your library. Attend a fund raiser. Join the Friends, whose yearly membership drive starts in February. Donate that best seller or audio book you were given for Christmas, or some nice books we can sell in our Used Book Room.

Give us your used cell phones and ink cartridges, which we can recycle for cash. Commit to be a library volunteer for two or more hours a week.

Above all, be a vocal advocate in supporting your Lindale Library.

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