Archive for the ‘budget’ Category

Library’s first community meeting about expected budget cuts set for Wednesday

April 21, 2010

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.

Library learns of $2 million cut in current budget year

March 17, 2010

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.

Read the full story in a recent e-news update and find out what you can do.

Learn more about Library funding  on our Budget Information page and sign up to receive the latest news via e-mail.

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.

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

Library Budget Update: Public Hearings on May 28

May 22, 2009

On Tuesday, May 19, County Manager Harry Jones presented his fiscal year 2010 budget recommendations to the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). As expected, the funding that he recommended for the Library was approximately a 10% reduction. Right now, even though the County Manager is recommending a 10% reduction scenario for the Library, the Library’s budget could face an even greater reduction.

Library use has surged during the economic recession, and we know that it is more important than ever to be able to serve the citizens in our community. The results of deep budget reductions would be significant, including the possibility of reduced hours of service at all library branches.

On Thursday, May 28, the Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget at 6:00 p.m. in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center at 600 East Fourth Street, Charlotte. The Library recognizes that this is a crucial meeting. You are invited to support the Library by voicing your opinions and concerns to the Board of County Commissioners. There are several ways that you can help:

  • Contact your County Commissioners and let them know how much you value the Library.
  • Join other Library supporters by attending the public hearing on May 28th. Please contact Karen Beach, Director of Community Engagement (kbeach@plcmc.org) if you plan to attend and would like to sit with other library supporters.
  • Citizens may register to speak about the recommended budget from May 18-27 by completing this form on Mecklenburg County’s Web site or by calling 704-336-2086.

We won’t know the final results of County funding decisions until the Board of County Commissioners approves the budget on June 16, but we will work to keep our customers informed about possible service impacts as we move through the process.

Thank you for your ongoing support of libraries and their value in the community.

Library works with Mecklenburg County on budget scenarios

March 11, 2009

Businesses and organizations across the country are feeling the impact of the current economic recession, and Mecklenburg County government agencies are no exception. PLCMC, which received approximately 91% of its funding from Mecklenburg County this year, is working with County Manager Harry Jones to address projected budget shortfalls both this fiscal year, ending June 30, 2009, and next fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2009.

The Library has already identified $750,000 in reductions from this year’s budget, including a substantial cut to the books and materials budget. This may mean fewer copies of some books and audiovisual items, longer wait times for popular items, and the discontinuation of some online resources.

In addition, the Library was asked by Mecklenburg County to submit budget reduction scenarios of 5%-20% for next fiscal year, which begins July 1. Recently, Library Director Charles Brown was interviewed by News 14’s Rob Boisvert about the impact a 20% reduction in County funding would have on the Library and the customers we serve. (Watch the interview.) As Charles Brown mentions in the interview, the impacts of a 20% reduction would be significant, and would mean both layoffs and reduced hours of service at all library branches. We won’t know the results of County funding decisions until later in the spring, but we will work to keep our customers informed about possible service impacts as we move through the process.

Want to help?
Now more than ever, your support is greatly needed and appreciated. Perhaps you’d like to give back to the library with a financial gift or through volunteer service. Learn more about the many ways you can get involved.

Listen Online

Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones joins Mike Collins on WFAE’s radio program “Charlotte Talks” to discuss the budget for Mecklenburg County. Jones talks about how the current economy is affecting the budget and about some of the cuts in county funding, including those for Public Libraries. (Listen to the interview.)

Library reports options to trustees

February 27, 2009

At a special called meeting yesterday (Feb. 26) held at Main Library, options for possible budget cuts were presented to the public libary board of trustees. Charlotte Observer reporter April Bethea filed this online report this morning.