HUBBARD - With the voters support earlier this month in passing a 1.9-mill operating levy, plans are to return programs and services, restore hours and get more materials starting in 2011 for the Hubbard Public Library.
Library Director Sherry Ault said the levy funds will help the library, which has been unable to count on state funding in recent years.
''Passage of the levy will mean stable funding for continuing to be an independent library for the community. We are so grateful to have a stable level of funding at the local level,'' she said.
Marly Kosinski / Hubbard Community News
Denise Schindell of Hubbard helps her daughter, Abby, 6, with a computer program at the Hubbard Public Library. Voters in the library district supported a 1.9-mill operating levy which will allow more programs to return and purchases of new materials possible in 2011.
Ault said the library has lost more than $1.3 million in state funding over the last decade.
''The passage of the operating levy will bring the 2011 library budget back to 2001 levels and ensure a stable base of funding for the library,'' she said.
The 1.9-mill levy is expected to cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $58.20 per year.
Ault said although she said she is not sure what additional state funding cuts will occur this year or next, they are hopeful to restore items. Levy funds will not be received until 2011.
Plans are being developed to restore children's programming to former levels and to reopen the drive-up window for materials pickup as soon as possible in 2011.
Despite passage, the library will not be able to restore programs, increase hours and services or get more materials this year. Due to severe state budget cuts, the library is closed on Fridays.
Revenue from the levy will not be available until 2011, so library users will not see an immediate increase in hours or services. Ault said the library must complete this year with a budget approximately 38 percent smaller than the library budget of 2001.
Ault said with levy passage the library officials will discuss how to restore hours and programs, and increase material purchases. She said the nonfiction collection has suffered much from the cuts in funding.
Ault said libraries from across the state have or are experiencing the same kind of difficulties. In November 2009, there were about 30 library levies on the ballot statewide with many expected this year in November.
She said the tough economic times are affecting everyone from families, libraries and communities
"We had the best levy committee working , and we will reward them with the best return on investment that we can deliver. We will show we really appreciate the support they have given us," she said.
The vote proves that the community really understands the value that the library provides a community, Ault said.
Ault credits passage of the levy to the hard work of the levy committee which was co-chaired by Sue Kelley and John Manhollan. Treasurer of the campaign committee was Jackie Orlando.
''They took the issue and ran with it. It was a grassroots campaign effort by the committee that reached the community,'' she said.
She also said many volunteers and Friends of the Library members helped.
In the meantime, Ault said the library will be busy installing the 10 new public access computers received through a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Opportunity Online Hardware Program Grant.
She said the Library has been recognized by the Gannett News Service as among the top 50 libraries nationally for the number of available Internet-capable public access computers. Connecting its patrons to job opportunities, e-government services, e-mail, research databases, car repair information, and more online is a top priority of the Library, Ault said.