Library board seeks increase in 2014 city budget

13 March 2014 8 views No Comment

Dear Residents:

Please see article in today’s Suburbanite entitled “Library board seeks increase in 2014 city budget” on pg 5.

One of my 2014 goals was to work with the trustees to engage top notch consultants to help with the update of new technology.

Englewood library board seeks increase in 2014 city budget

Thursday, March 13, 2014

BY STEPHANIE NODA

STAFF WRITER

Northern Valley Suburbanite

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ENGLEWOOD – Library officials are requesting an increase of $87,000 in their budget for upgraded technology, pay for contract services and legal fees.

During a Feb. 19 budget meeting, Katherine Glynn, president of the library board of trustees, requested a $144,000 increase. However, library officials later revised their request to $86,980 after discovering their calculations were incorrect.

Trustees would use $43,980 to cover contract services, $30,000 for technology upgrades, and $13,000 for legal fees associated with negotiating for new union contracts, HVAC maintenance and cleaning contracts.

City Manager Tim Dacey allocated $2,105,970 for the Englewood Public Library in the administration’s proposed $60 million budget, the same amount the library received last year and $533,218 more than the state minimum that is required. This amount includes the extra $70,000 that the council added into the library budget last year when library officials had requested an increase.

Dacey has also budgeted for various capital improvement to the library building, including somewhere between $150,000 to $160,000 for a new roof, $45,000 to $60,000 to re-do the main entrance and $10,000 to $20,000 for engineering for drainage improvements.

Library Director Catherine Wolverton said 12 of the library’s approximate 20 computers work at a given time.

“The keyboards are falling apart, even the staff PCs” said Wolverton. “I’ve been bringing my laptop from home because the computer at my desk has been broken for two months.”

In 2013, the library hosted 75,092 computer sessions where residents could research, do homework, access social services, job searching and homeschooling, according to numbers from Wolverton.

“We have a lot of people who come in and we really want to provide [them] with the resources they deserve that are going to allow them to get the results that they need,” said Wolverton.

She was particularly passionate about replacing computers in the children’s room which has two “very old” PCs. While some parents, like Wolverton, are able to send their young children to daycares that immerse children in technology, many parents don’t have this opportunity.

“We want to make sure we have the same technology that they use in the schools, so the kids have parity between school and the library,” said Wolverton. “Right now, our technology is really out of date and our infrastructure is basically none existent.”

In addition to replacing computers, Wolverton would like toimplement a computer and print management system for the library’s public PCs, which would help reallocate staff to help more library patrons.

Mayor Frank Huttle III said one of his goals for 2014 was to work with the trustees to “move the library forward to the best that they can be.” To address the need for technology, Huttle said the board was looking to engage “top notch strategic consultants” to put together a computer replacement plan.

The strategic plan would require $25,000, which is allocated in library’s budget. Consultants would construct the document much like the Master Plan process that the city just undertook, said Wolverton.

The report, which will “address the question of the evolving role of a library in the 21st century,” will examine current library services and research if there are any gaps in how the library serves “different segments of our diverse communities,” said Wolverton.

“This report provides an opportunity for our residents to have a voice in building a better library for Englewood and Englewood Cliffs,” said Wolverton.

Email: noda@northjersey.com

Regards,

Mayor Frank Huttle III

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