Archive for the ‘Public Awareness’ Category

We’ve moved!

January 25, 2011

Fans, this blog will cease operations on Feb 15th.  Want to stay connected? Please follow us at facebook.com/cmlibrary, twitter.com/cmlibrary or youtube.com/cmlibrary.

For more on news and programming information from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, please bookmark cmlibrary.org or subscribe to our many RSS feeds.

– Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

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.

Looking for North Carolina State Tax Forms?

December 28, 2009

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 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.

We hope this information will be of help as you prepare and file your tax returns this year.

New Hickory Grove Library slated to open Feb. 6

December 7, 2009

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.

(more…)

Your Library is a Five Star!

December 4, 2009

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.

Learn how to download from your library

November 3, 2009

digitalbookmobile

Millions of people are already downloading audiobooks, eBooks, and more from their public libraries, and you can too. Find out more when the Main Library hosts the Digital Bookmobile for a special event on Wednesday, Nov. 4 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. With instructional videos and interactive computer stations, readers of all ages will experience new ways to enjoy digital books and more from their public library. Learn more at DigitalBookmobile.com or start downloading right away at http://downloads.plcmc.org.

Major gift helps Library close the ‘digital divide’

October 2, 2009
From left to right: Mecklenburg County Commission Chair Jennifer Roberts, Library Director Charles Brown, Library Trustee Chair Darrel Williams, and Susan Patterson, Charlotte program director for Knight Foundation.

An announcement of a significant gift from the Knight Foundation to the Public Library. Pictured left to right: Mecklenburg County Commissioner Chair Jennifer Roberts, Library Director Charles Brown, Library Trustee Chair Darrel Williams, and Charlotte program director for Knight Foundation Susan Patterson.

Charlotte and Mecklenburg County residents will benefit from expanded Internet access and help searching for jobs, thanks to a $804,100 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County. This gift was announced at 9 a.m. on Oct. 2, 2009, at a press conference at ImaginOn.

Read the full news release on the Library’s web site. Videos of the event, which included heartfelt testimonials from library users about the personal impact library technology has made in their lives, are available on YouTube. Click here for the grant announcement, and here for a library user speaking about what the library means to her.

Getting your first library card…what was it like?

August 31, 2009

In tough economic times, parents might find it harder than ever to make sure their children have everything they need for school.  Luckily, the most important school supply of all does not cost a thing.  It’s a library card.  A library card can give kids access to free homework help, materials to research their papers or a source for their next book report.  And a library card opens up a world of exciting stories for a young person.

Do you remember the moment when you got your first library card? In celebration of September as Library Card Sign-up Month, we invite you to share your first library card experience. How old were you? How did you feel getting your card? How has it made a difference in your life?

This month, bring a friend – young or old — to the library and let them experience the joy of their first library card, too.

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

Are you a “power user” of the library? (We hope so.)

April 10, 2009

April 12 marks the launch of National Library Week, and this year, with so many people feeling the impact of the economic recession, we at the library want to reach out and urge people of all ages to harness the power of libraries to help in their day-to-day lives.

Read about the library’s public awareness efforts during National Library Week and share your thoughts on what it means to be a POWER USER by leaving a comment on this blog.

This teen visitor to PLCMC's Cornelius branch has the right idea.

This teen visitor to PLCMC's Cornelius branch has the right idea.