Red Feather Lakes Community Library update for Nov. 2014

We’re recommending that you follow the money. While that’s good advice in feature films (and also politics) this truism certainly has application for community institutions — such as Red Feather Lakes Community Library — that are entrusted with public funds to promote the individual and public good.

By Creed Kidd,
Library Director

The library is in the reading/viewing/information business — but we certainly don’t hesitate in recommending a good book, compelling documentary or wonderful children’s program the library is offering. We do other things as well — providing an open community room for scheduling, providing a community bulletin board for upcoming events, have served occasionally as a drop-off and pick-up point, have handled (in the past year) four 911 calls for families with medical issues (who come in, aware of our steady, staffed hours).

We’re pleased, over the past several years, to have co-sponsored the Area 9Health Fair.

We’ve interrupted writing this column momentarily to check out a critter in our live animal trap, allowing the humane and safe capture and transport of critters away from the house or yard to more desirable locations. That’s another service, as is 24/7 outside wireless Internet access and inside wired and wireless service during library hours. Need to send e-mail or fill out an online job application? We’re here and we’re working for you.

Back to the money. Like many other public community institutions, services here are funded by donations, fundraisers and tax dollars. There’s a lengthy process every year to evaluate services, cost-of-doing-business expenses and the additional things we’d like to do in your behalf the following year. That’s the budget process and it culminates near the end of each year with a public opportunity for you to examine and evaluate the library’s proposed budget. That’s a double issue this year because of added income through grants and additional expenses because of the mill levy initiative. First, the 2014 amended budget to accurately reflect unexpected income and expense. Then, the proposed 2015 budget that will determine the level of services provided and the directions those services will take.

That’s where you come in. Following the money is following and determining library services. What would you like to see? More e-books? More TV series on DVD? Library hours that are more convenient for you? The convenience of a library book drop at Crystal Lakes Or not. Let us know.

You’re welcome to come in anytime and talk turkey, services or money. However, the annual budget hearing gives you a public forum to speak out on the services you’d like to see or see prioritized. You’ll find a copy at Meet with us Dec. 11 at 9 a.m. for the 2014 amended budget and at 9:30 a.m. for the proposed 2015 budget. We hope to see you there.

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