– Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library announced today that the first community meeting to share information about the Library’s budget will take place this Wednesday.
Four other sessions have been scheduled, with more sessions to be scheduled soon so that citizens from across the County who are interested in the future of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library can learn more.
The purpose of these sessions is to:
- Share the presentation viewed at the Library’s April 15 Board of Trustees meeting.
- Facilitate a dialogue between the community and the Library in order to identify additional factors that may assist with planning for FY 2011 which begins July 1.
- Encourage citizen advocacy and support for the Library.
Last week Director of Libraries Charles Brown presented three scenarios to the Board of Trustees that outlined ways the Library could potentially deal with an expected $17 million budget cut from Mecklenburg County.
The Board of Trustees will vote on the Library’s final operating budget in June following adoption of the FY11 budget by the Board of County Commissioners.
Information Session Schedule
Wed, April 21 at 6:30 p.m. – CPCC North campus: 11930 Verhoeff Drive, Huntersville
Monday, April 26 at 7 p.m. – CPCC Levine campus: 2800 Campus Ridge Road, Matthews
Wednesday, April 28 at 11:30 a.m. – Main Library: 310 North Tryon Street, Charlotte
Thursday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m. – Myers Park Baptist Church: 1900 Queens Road, Charlotte
Monday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m. – CPCC Cato Campus: 8120 Grier Road, Charlotte
For more information about the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library budget, visit our website at http://www.cmlibrary.org.
On Tuesday, March 16, the Library learned that Mecklenburg County would be reducing the Library’s funding for Fiscal Year 2010 by 6.3 percent, or $2 million dollars, before June 30, 2010.
To absorb a $2 million reduction in such a short period of time, the Library will need to lay off at least 140 employees, resulting in the closure of at least twelve Library locations, pending final library board approval. The Library Board of Trustees will consider these options at their regular meeting on Thursday, March 18 at 12 p.m.
As soon as possible after that meeting, the Library will announce which library locations will be closed. Once the decision has been made to close locations, it will take approximately two weeks to complete the closing.
Over the past month, you may have seen news reports regarding Mecklenburg County’s current budget shortfall, which will need to be made up before June 30, 2010. The Library receives approximately 92% of its funding from Mecklenburg County, and we have been asked to identify a potential reduction of approximately $1.57 million in our FY2010 budget allocation from Mecklenburg County before June 30, 2010. The cuts are one way to close what has grown into a $34 million shortfall in the current Mecklenburg County budget.
This is still a potential, not actual, reduction. However, if this potential reduction becomes a reality, the Library will be compelled to make very difficult decisions about library operations, including:
- A layoff of a significant percentage of the Library’s workforce;
- Closing at least four library locations;
- Significant reductions in hours of operation at all remaining libraries;
- Further reductions in the books and materials budget.
The potential need to return $1.57 million to Mecklenburg County in the last few months of the current fiscal year has a more severe impact because we are unable to spread the reduction amount over twelve months.
When a similar situation occurred last year, the Library took most of its reduction out of the books and materials budget. We also already experienced a 10% reduction in this fiscal year’s budget, which we addressed by reducing staff pay, reducing benefits, and closing libraries on Sundays during the summer months.
We know that there are those of you who will be interested in helping libraries get through these tough times. The best thing you can do is to continue to be a supporter for libraries. Speak up for libraries wherever you can: in the elevator, with friends and neighbors or at community groups to which you belong. Consider a tax-deductible gift to your library, or remember the library in your estate planning. Even paying overdue fines promptly helps. If you’re interested in giving a financial gift to the Library, please visit the Library’s website.
We anticipate having a better understanding of the likely outcome of this budget situation and the potential for lay-offs within the next few weeks. County departments and agencies recently submitted scenarios for how to cut up to five percent from their budget, and county administrators are weighing which ones to enact. Additionally, the library has been asked to identify 5%, 10%, and 15% reduction scenarios for the next fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2010. We appreciate your support of libraries, and will continue to keep you informed as we learn more.
Hundreds of guests were in attendance at the grand opening of the new Job Help Center at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s Main Library. Speakers at the grand opening included Library Director Charles Brown, County Commission Chair Jennifer Roberts, and North Carolina State Librarian Mary Boone See the photos posted on Flickr.
The past few days have been a flurry of activity preparing not only for the opening of the center, but also for computer classes that were scheduled to take place at 9:30 this morning in the center. Mary Boone referred to the center as a “showcase” job center for other libraries, and congratulated the efforts of library staff for continuing to innovate to meet the needs of the public, especially during what has been a challenging financial year not only for libraries but also for those who need us most in the community.
The Job Help Center will be open during Main Library hours, M-Th 9-9, F-Sat. 9-6 and Sun. 9-1.
The N.C. Department of Revenue (www.dor.state.nc.us) has opted not to provide tax forms to public facilities like libraries and post offices this year.
However, they are offering several options:
- You can request tax forms by mail at no charge by calling 1-877-252-3052 or visiting www.dor.state.nc.us/request
- You can go to the N.C. State Tax Office for forms:
5111 Nations Crossing Rd. Bldg 8, Suite 100, Charlotte, NC 28217
(Off of Woodlawn near I-77.)
Please call 704-519-3000 for directions.
The office is open Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.
- You can e-file from home.
- You can download the forms from www.dor.state.nc.us and pay-per-print at this location.
We hope this information will be of help as you prepare and file your tax returns this year.
The Spangler Foundation presented the library with a $250,000 grant on Thursday, December 17. Read the press release.
For the past year, a 16,000-foot replacement for the current 5,100-foot Hickory Grove branch has been under construction across the street at 5935 Hickory Grove Road, near Food Lion. To prepare for the opening, the old branch will close three weeks before the opening of the new branch.
- Jan. 16, 2010: Old branch closes so the books and materials can be moved to the new building.
- Feb. 6, 2010: Grand opening of new Hickory Grove Library.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library has once again been designated a “Five-Star” library. This is a due in large part to the support and patronage we receive from you, the people of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Thanks!
Wondering what a Five-Star Library is? It’s the highest possible rating given out by the Library Journal, and it’s similar to the Michelin and Mobile guides used for restaurants and hotels. They’ve actually given it to use twice: first in February 2009, then again in November 2009. You can read more on our website.
Come on in to the Library or visit our website at www.cmlibrary.org to find out what’s going on at the Library. Not only can you help us celebrate our five stars, but your very presence can help us keep our Five-Star designation in the future! How’s that, you ask? The Library Journal Index is based equally on four things: visits, circulation, program attendance, and public Internet computer use.
The Charlotte-area Barnes and Noble stores (Sharon Road, Carolina Place, Arboretum and Birkdale) are hosting a book fair to benefit the Public Library on Saturday and Sunday, December 5th and 6th. Shoppers at any of the Charlotte area Barnes & Noble stores simply have to mention the Public Library at the register during checkout to have a percentage of their sales go to the Library. Proceeds from this fair will be used by the Library to purchase much needed new books for its circulating collection.
Also, don’t miss these special related events Saturday, Dec. 5, at the B&N on Sharon Road:
- 10 a.m. to noon: Author Art Chansky signing his history of UNC Basketball, Light Blue Reign: How a City-Slicker, a Quiet Kansan, and a Mountain Man Built College Basketball’s Longest-Lasting Dynasty
- 10 a.m. to noon: Children’s Author Judy Stead signing The Twelve Days of Christmas in North Carolina
- 11 a.m.: Children’s Storytime with the Library’s Frontline Storytellers