||2012 Fee Projection FAQs
Who developed the MHLS 2012 Fee Projection?
- It was developed by the MHLS System Funding Task Force. Josh Cohen formed the Task Force in 2008 to propose a fee structure for funding in 2010 and beyond.
- The Task Force is made up of member library directors: Tom Lawrence (Task Force Chair), Poughkeepsie Public Library District; Frank Rees, Kent Public Library; Linda Deubert, Heermance Memorial Library in Coxsackie; Debra Kamecke, Cairo Public Library; Gloria Goverman, East Fishkill Community Library; Sally Alderdice, Claverack Library; Gillian Thorpe, Butterfield Library in Coldspring; Pat Kaufman, Mahopac Public Library; Jeanne Buck, Reed Memorial Library in Carmel; Margie Menard, Kingston Library. Karen Garafalo, Philmont Public Library and Steve Cook, Starr Library in Rhinebeck have also participated. Staff from MHLS: Merribeth Advocate, Interim Director; Linda Vittone, Finance Manager, Josh Cohen, Retired Executive Director. Roland Patterson, MHLS Board Treasurer has also participated.
- The formula is designed to take into account many elements in order for it to be an equitable distribution across libraries of different sizes, communities and stages of development. Many of the items are direct costs that go to the automation vendor and delivery service. The Millennium Capital Fee goes into a savings account for future group automation expenses.
When will member libraries have to pay the fee?
Is this the dollar amount that members expected for 2012?
- It is lower than what was anticipated earlier in the year; at that time Directors were expecting the 2012 assessment to be double what it is for 2010. On average it is ¾ of that.
What is happening with the revenue Mid-Hudson Library System receives from the state to provide services to libraries?
- MHLS funding from NYS and has essentially been flat since 1998. At the same time members requests for support have increased and expenses have increased.
- Chapter 917 Laws of New York on Public Library System Funding 1990 dictates a specific level of state funds for library systems to provide services to member libraries, but the state has not met that level of funding. This year MHLS anticipates receiving $285,731 less than mandated by law. MHLS has received only ½ of the state funds that were to be used for 2010 operations, we know there with be at least another 3.8% reduction on the remainder, and that at the state level there are still questions about what the total amount of 2010 funding will be for public library systems. An additional $160,000 for services from MHLS may additionally be cut if the Education, Labor and Family Assistance (ELFA) Article VII Bill does not pass (here is a link to send your legislator a message about how this affects your library).
- 2011 and beyond, state funding for public library systems is predicted to be flat at best.
What actions has Mid-Hudson Library System made to reduce costs?
- Over the last several years MHLS has held expenses in a variety of ways including reducing staff, outsourcing delivery, and actively seeking better rates with vendors and contracts.
- We know that changes are necessary. MHLS has additionally cut $172,934 from the 2010 budget, and we anticipate cutting another $235,569 from our preliminary 2011 budget.
What are other Systems in the state doing?
- Most of the other Systems started charging a member fees before MHLS did. Many have a near or total cost recovery for services like automation.
What are MHLS’s long term plans?
- MHLS is in the process of developing a new 5-year Plan of Service, and will be getting input from library directors, staff and trustees on all aspects of the new plan. We are looking to develop a structure where we can maximize our ability to provide the unique support that members rely on, while prioritizing our service functions for long-term sustainability. MHLS and Member Libraries making decisions together and strategizing how to move forward into the future as partners is a good & positive move.
MHLS Interim Director
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