Author Archive

County budget reductions could mean library closings

March 9, 2010

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.

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Barnes & Noble to host book fair to benefit the Public Library

December 2, 2009

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

Nominations open for 2009 I Love My Librarian Award

September 18, 2009

Is there a librarian at your local PLCMC branch who you think is outstanding? Who goes above and beyond in his or her efforts to help library users and your community? Now you have a chance to not only sing their praises locally, but on a national level. Nominations are open for the 2009 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award. The award invites library users to recognize the accomplishments of librarians in public, school, college, community college and university libraries for their efforts to improve the lives of people in their community.

Up to 10 librarians will be selected. Each will receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and a $500 travel stipend to attend an awards ceremony and reception in New York, hosted by The New York Times in December. In addition, a plaque will be given to each award winner’s library. Last year, more than 3,200 library users nationwide nominated a librarian, and 10 librarians received the award.

Nominees will be judged by a selection committee based on quality of service to library users, demonstrated knowledge of the library and its resources and commitment shown in helping library users. Each nominee must be a librarian with a master’s degree from a program accredited by the ALA in library and information studies or a master’s degree with a specialty in school library media from an educational unit accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. Nominees must be currently working in the United States in a public library, a library at an accredited two- or four-year college or university, or a library at an accredited K-12 school.

Nominations will run through October 9 and are being accepted online at ilovelibraries.org/ilovemylibrarian. Nominate your favorite PLCMC librarian today!

Learning a new language is free and easy at your library

September 10, 2009

Ever wanted to learn a new language, but didn’t know where to start? The South County Regional branch of the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County will be hosting drop-in demonstrations of Mango Languages, the free, online language-learning software available to library users. This Friday and Saturday, representatives from Mango Languages will be conducting live demonstrations and giving away free T-shirts. Mango Languages offers instruction in 12 languages and 3 ESL (English as a Second Language) programs with both in-library and remote access for users.

When & Where:
Friday, Sept. 11, and Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
South County Regional Library, 5801 Rea Road, Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 416-6600

Summer Hours: July 5 – Sept. 6

June 17, 2009

In response to the Board of County Commissioners’ vote June 16 to cut the Library’s funding by 10% for the upcoming fiscal year, the Library is instituting “Summer Hours” beginning Sunday, July 5. All branches will be closed on Sundays through Sunday, September 6, and normal Sunday operations will resume on Sunday, September 13. Since most of our 24 branches already are closed on Sundays, the branches affected by this change are:

We understand that this will be quite a change for some of our customers. Here are some answers to a few of the questions you may have:

Why are we having Summer Hours?
The Library needed to reduce hours of operation to save money. The Library received less funding from Mecklenburg County this year due to the current economic situation.

Are the changes permanent?
No. The changes are for the summer only. Normal Sunday hours will resume September 13. The decision was made to close on Sundays for the summer only because this will have the least impact on the most customers, since school is out of session during this time.

Will we be doing this every summer?
We don’t know. The changes are being made this summer in response to the current economic and budget situation, and it’s too early to say what the situation will be next year.

As always, some library services will continue to be available around-the-clock, including the library’s 24-hour book drops, online account access and catalog searching at www.plcmc.org, and the library’s automated telephone renewal line at (704) 416-7363. We thank you for your understanding!

Sincerely,
The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County

Coffee and Conversation About Library Facilities

October 17, 2008

We’re looking toward the future here at PLCMC, and we want you to help us do it. From November 1 to November 6, we’re holding a series of “Coffee and Conversation” workshops to help us develop our Facilities Master Plan for the next 10 years.

What’s a Facilities Master Plan, you ask? Basically, what this means is that the Library is planning our recommendations and goals concerning our buildings. We’re looking not only at our existing buildings and how we can improve them, but where we might like to build new branches as well. The dates and locations of the workshops are:

  • Saturday, Nov. 1, 9-10 a.m., Carmel Library, 6624 Walsh Blvd., (704) 416-3400
  • Saturday, Nov. 1, 12-1 p.m., Mint Hill Library, 6840 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, (704) 416-5200
  • Monday, Nov. 3, 7-8 p.m., Independence Regional Library, 6000 Conference Drive, (704) 416-4800
  • Wednesday, Nov. 5, 7:30-8:30 p.m., Beatties Ford Road Library, 2412 Beatties Ford Road, (704) 416-3000
  • Thursday, Nov. 6, 7-8 p.m., North County Regional Library, 16500 Holly Crest Lane, Huntersville, (704) 416-6000
  • DATE ADDED!!! Monday, Jan. 5, 2009, 12-1 p.m., Morrison Regional Library, 7015 Morrison Boulevard, (704) 416-5400

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