Library to Charge for Meeting Rooms, 3 Part-Time Positions Cut in 2012 Budget
The mobile library will also be cut as part of the library's 2012 budget approved Tuesday.
In a previous version of this story we incorrectly stated library board members Dion Kendrick and Eugene Fregetto said if the Des Plaines Public Library charges for its space, it risks losing patrons who would otherwise utilize the library’s services.
Library patrons will be required to pay fees to use meeting space currently offered for free at the Des Plaines Public Library sometime next year. The change is part of the 2012 budget approved 5-2 at Tuesday’s meeting. Two members were absent.
Three part-time positions for the mobile library will be eliminated, discontinuing that service, and fines for overdue materials will be raised.
Heather Imhoff, head of public information services, said officials believe the library could collect $2,000 from organizations using the library’s meeting spaces on its first floor. Next year’s budget predicts the library will receive $6.8 million and spend $6.1 million, leaving the library with $3.1 million in reserve for the next year.
Last year the library asked the city to co-sign a loan if they ran out of funds before tax revenue was received. The loan was not needed, but there were discussions about the library closing or running on minimum staff if funds ran out and the city refused to co-sign.
“[The $3.1 million reserve] puts us in a pretty safe place financially,” Imhoff said.
The 2012 budget represents a 5 percent decrease in taxes, Imhoff said. She said compared to approving last year’s budget, the process at Tuesday’s meeting went exceptionally smoothly.
Board members Dion Kendrick and Eugene Fregetto voted against the proposed 2012 budget.
Kendrick said the budget does not provide for necessary resources and it should be reconsidered. He presented a prepared statement following his vote against the budget, which read the budget “lacks vision.”
The library’s 2012 budget will be presented to City Council at its meeting Oct. 3.
In other business the board discussed implementing a meet-and-greet program for patrons and library trustees in the lobby area.