Monday, April 12, 2010

Drafting the FY11 Budget

It's a good news/bad news situation.

The good news: the Library is doing 20% more business! We're up double-digits across all measures for use statistics, about 20% overall. More library cards, more PC uses, more questions answered, more people attending programs, more more more...

Then comes the bad news. With just 1% more money, we need to keep up with demand that has hit double-digit increases over the prior year for a 10 years in a row! Unlike a business that receives more money when business is good, our income is not tied to how much use the Library is getting. Most budget lines will be frozen at their FY10 level.

It is not as bad as it could be. Unlike many of our neighbors, our Library is not facing a huge deficit or layoffs or the like. By the same token, it is a challenge to keep up with the demand for services that our residents are making. Conservative fiscal management and planning have served us well, helping us to keep up and make do through years of the increases in use outstripping any increases in funding.

Bottom line: Fiscal Year 2011 will not have cuts to services, staffing and hours at the Plainfield Public Library. In these times, that's about as good as it gets.