Record date: May 10, 2019
This week on "Byline with Stan Rosenberg," at 8 p.m. on Channel 17, Sharon Sharry, the director of Amherst's Jones Library system, will discuss the $2.65 million budget for fiscal 2020, along with new initiatives and long-range plans.
The budget, including information on priorities and needs, can be seen here: https://joneslibrary.org/…/V…/4704/Proposed-FY20-Budget-PDF…
The budget, which shows a decrease of about one percent or $27,000 from from fiscal 2019, was designed to keep services at their current levels, while a broader fundraising effort gets underway, Sharry said..
The Amherst Town Council approved about $2 million in funding for the town libraries on June 17, as part of an $84.6 million town budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. A related article is here: https://www.masslive.com/…/amherst-town-council-approves-84…. Amherst's Joint Capital Planning Committee has also created an $800,000 "placeholder" for possible renovation of the North Amherst Library in 2022. https://www.gazettenet.com/Amherst-Town-Council-approves-ne…
The libraries, which include the Jones, the North Amherst Library and the Munson Memorial Library, have 18,807 cardholders, and yearly circulation of just under 400,000 items, including standard and electronic books, audio and video materials. Of the 367 Massachusetts public libraries, only 20 others circulate more items annually than the Jones system.
Until now, fundraising for the Jones and the branch libraries was handled through separate annual appeals by the Jones itself, and the Friends of the Jones Library System. For many supporters, the existence of two appeals seemed "redundant and confusing," the 2020 budget documents state.
Those appeals are now merged to simplify the fundraising process.
The fiscal 2020 budget consists of about 75% town funding and 12% endowment funds, with the remaining 13 percent coming from state aid and donations.
Library salaries are the largest expense, according to Sharry, who has expressed a wish for more programming and technology staff.
This week's episode of "Byline" will be re-broadcast on Monday June 24 at 6 p.m. on Channel 17. The show is co-sponsored by Amherst Media and the League of Women Voters of Amherst.
Summary courtesy of the Amherst League of Women Voters.
Amherst Media and former Massachusetts State Senate President Stan Rosenberg team up for “Byline with Stan Rosenberg,” an issue-oriented local government news program. “Byline” will tackle town, regional and state news topics as Rosenberg interviews players in both town and state government affairs.