Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Look at 10 Years of Library Spending @ the Salem Public Library

Tough chapter for Salem library. (Statesman-Journal, 4/29/2012)

Excerpt: As city population has risen, placing more strain on the library, services have been trimmed each year. Fiscal year 2003-04 saw the central library close on Mondays and a charge slapped on video/DVD rentals. The neighborhood bookmobile program ended in 2008-09, except for visits to first grades and migrant programs by Assistance League volunteers. The periodicals desk closed and the West Salem branch trimmed four hours off its weekly schedule in 2010-11. This year, the book budget was sliced to its 1998-99 level. 

“There is no easy solution because there isn’t enough money,” said BJ Toewe, library administrator. 

Meanwhile, the library has turned to donors to support special projects. Friends of the Salem Public Library, the Salem Public Library Foundation and the Salem Public Library Advisory Board, among others, contributed $250,000 last year to turn a basement work area into a teen-friendly lair. Library staffers hope that similar largesse will help enlarge and improve the children’s area in future. 

Donors also have bankrolled special programs, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars since 2000.

Wisconsin's state average is $36.27.  (Wisconsin Public Library Service Data)

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