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2012 Adopted Budget

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On December 15, 2011 the Board of Trustees of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library adopted the Library’s 2012 Budget.  This budget allows the Library to continue to offer 2011 levels of open hours and services our patrons need and are using now more than ever as they struggle to manage household budgets during what is clearly the most serious economic downturn since the great depression.  Like many patrons, the Library’s “household budget” has been strained by reduced county and state support. 

Despite a reduction of 98.5 open hours per week (6% of 2010 total weekly open hours) in response to reduced funding in 2011, B&ECPL has experienced no decrease in circulation through October, while year-to-date public access computer use has decreased only 3.6% across the System.   Public computer use at libraries throughout the System is at or near capacity much of each operating day.

Click Here to view the 2012 Adopted Budget

2012 Erie County Operating Budget Adopted:  On December 6th the Erie County Legislature adopted the County’s 2012 Budget. 

The County Executive did not veto any of the Legislature’s changes, so the changes become part of the County’s 2012 Budget.

The adopted budget included a County Legislature amendment restoring Central Library maintenance functions, Central Library utilities, and Buffalo Branch maintenance functions to the Library’s 2012 Budget.  The utility costs and maintenance functions had been proposed to be transferred to the Erie County Buildings and Grounds Department.

The budget amendment reverses the transfer of functions and restores library utilities and maintenance staffing to their present (2011) levels.  This restoration, valued at $1.7 million, will result in no change to Erie County’s property tax rate of $5.03 per $1,000 of equalized full market value (the same rate used in 2009, 2010 and 2011).

The County Adopted Budget also includes a $2,000,000 interfund revenue subsidy allocation to the Library which, combined with the maintenance restoration, fringe benefit savings, fundraising efforts, a $550,000 reduction to the Library Materials budget, and use of just under $538,000 in fund balance will allow all libraries to maintain their current public service open hours and staffing in 2012.  With this budget we anticipate that there will be NO layoffs in 2012.  It does not, however, provide funding to restore the 98.5 weekly service hours and related staffing reductions that occurred as part of the 2011 budget process.

The total County Property Tax Levy will remain unchanged from the 2012 Proposed Budget at $237,692,831, which is up 1.07% from 2011’s levy of $235,182,208 reflecting growth in the full value property tax base.   The allocation of the tax proceeds between the County General Fund and the Library Fund will change as follows:

County Property Tax Component

Exec. Proposed

Legislature Adopted

County General Fund

$219,520,998

$217,820,374

Library Fund

$  18,171,833

$  19,872,457

Total County Property Tax Levy

$237,692,831

$237,692,831

This budget continues support for major library initiatives:

1. Continuing conversion of our existing materials handling, inventory, circulation and security system operations to a much more efficient RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) based system.  This multi-year grant funded project has seen 16 libraries operating using RFID through 2011 with approximately 10 additional libraries scheduled for conversion in 2012, including the Central Library early in 2012.  The remaining 11 libraries will see RFID implementation in 2013.  RFID provides the opportunity to use technology to improve public service and assist staff, whose numbers have been reduced by previous years’ budget cuts, in meeting the demand from heavy patron usage of library services;

2. Ongoing to work with contracting library directors, ACT (Association of Contracting Library Boards of Trustees) board members, branch managers, administrators and department heads to streamline governance; restructure our organization; seek alternate revenue streams; and rethink the way in which we provide services; and

3. Developing the long range strategic plan for the Library System including the provision of services to meet the needs of Erie County residents.

Barring significant unanticipated fiscal shocks, this budget will enable the Library to maintain 2011 open hours and service levels at all of our locations while avoiding layoffs in 2012.  This approach positions the Library well to make the best case for future support from the legislature, the County Executive, and Erie County voters in 2013 and beyond. 

Click Here to view the 2012 Adopted Budget