2010-12-23 / Front Page

Fulton County Library To Operate In The Red

New, improved hours introduced for 2011
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Fulton County Library Director Jamie Brambley (left) and volunteer Kathy Lake put the finishing touches on the library's second annual "Tree of Giving." With funding and aid to the library down for 2011, library officials are hopeful the Tree of Giving and other fundraisers will bring their budget out of the red. Fulton County Library Director Jamie Brambley (left) and volunteer Kathy Lake put the finishing touches on the library's second annual "Tree of Giving." With funding and aid to the library down for 2011, library officials are hopeful the Tree of Giving and other fundraisers will bring their budget out of the red. As the clock continues to count down the final days of 2010, Fulton County Library officials have announced they expect to operate in the red next year as a result of losing various income streams.

Executive Director Jamie Brambley and members of the library board of directors sat down last week for an overview of the projected 2011 budget, which includes $203,781 in revenue and even higher disbursements totaling $248,650.

State aid has continued to drop in recent years, most notably between 2009 and 2010 when the state’s contribution of $72,371 decreased to $57,890. That amount is slated to be cut further next year, with the state providing $51,631, said Brambley.

Brambley stated county aid will not be rising back to its 2009 level of $15,000 and will remain cut by 50 percent next year.

Also cut from the annual budget is around $1,000 in Access PA money that is earmarked for reimbursing the library for postage needed to receive and ship books on loan from other libraries.

Brambly pointed out even though it was recently announced the Arthur and Ruth Schmidt Community Trust awarded the Friends of the Fulton County Library a much-needed $33,406, that money has been placed in the Friends’ endowment to meet longrange operations and benefit of the library. As a result, the library will continue to receive an annual allotment of up to $78,000 to assist with daily operations.

Some of newly acquired endowment money, it was noted, could possibly be used to support the library’s extension of operating hours.

Accordingly, Brambley reported, as a result of closely monitoring patron usage, hours at the library have been altered for 2011 at both the main office in McConnellsburg and at the Hustontown branch. The new schedule includes two additional hours, bringing total weekly operating hours to 52.

Hours next year are tentatively slated for Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (McConnellsburg) and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Hustontown); and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To help address its goal of increasing revenue and thereby breaking even, the library has several ongoing fundraisers under way. Among those are the annual appeal mailing that was sent out before Thanksgiving and has been well received by both residents and businesses countywide.

The library hopes to reach a goal of $40,000 through their fundraising letter and has already hit over 45 percent with donations of $18,000.

“It’s heartening to know the community is supporting us in our time of hardship,” said Brambley. “…Our budget is at a bare-bones minimum and covers rent, utilities, insurance, staffing and, of course, books. We cannot make any more reductions in the purchase of books and related materials as we are required to spend a certain dollar amount annually in this area.”

Always looking for new and interesting ways to enable individuals of any income level to be able to donate to the library, the library has again erected a “Tree of Giving” over the holiday season.

The decorative tree located inside the main office lobby is adorned with mittens representing 33 items the library uses throughout the course of a year of operations, whether it is toilet paper for the restrooms, DVDs or books for children and adults alike. Mitten sponsorship ranges from just $2.50 for a roll of packing tape to upwards of $400 for monthly rent at the Hustontown branch. Any individuals sponsoring an item will have their name placed on a mitten to decorate the tree.

In 2009, the Tree of Giving raised approximately $3,000 for the library’s daily operations.

In addition, the library is also able to collect donations through its Web site, www.fultoncountylibrary. org. By using a search engine known as “Goodsearch” on the library’s homepage, a penny will be donated by Goodsearch to the library for each individual search made for shopping or searching at stores like Target, ToysRUs, PetSmart and The Gap. Furthermore, the JustGive.org icon allows visitors on the library’s Web site to make valuable donations using their credit card.

An invaluable means of fundraising this holiday season and beyond into 2011 is the library’s link to Amazon.com. A percentage of each purchase made through Amazon (after first visiting the library’s home page) will be given back to the local organization.

The mini-book sale is ongoing and offers an array of books, CDs and videos at reasonable prices, and patrons can also opt to donate a book in honor or memory of another individual in a general subject area.

“There are both big and small ways people can continue to give,” Brambley concluded. “The good news is both the fund drive and Tree of Giving are going well so far.”

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