The MHLS Board of Trustees has accepted the official claims of serious inequities and hardships from the public library boards of the Beekman Library, the LaGrange Library, and the Millbrook Library. The claims were based on the Town of Union Vale, a town with no library, providing less than median or average funding for public library services, and Town residents use of neighboring libraries representing 5% or more of the libraries’ total circulation of materials. The Town of Union Vale has no chartered public library.
Based upon the MHLS Board of Trustees acceptance of the official claims, MHLS and its 66 member libraries have implemented a restriction, as authorized in the state approved MHLS Direct Access Plan, on loaning non-print library materials to the residents of the Town of Union Vale.
The restriction went into effect on August 3, 2015.
The MHLS Board of Trustees determined sufficient efforts have been made by MHLS and member libraries over the past four years to secure adequate funding support from the Town of Union Vale, however, the Town of Union Vale continues to provide less than median or average funding for public library services.
For 2014, the average local funding per capita for the Beekman Library, the LaGrange Library, and the Millbrook Library to provide public library services was $30.16, whereas, the Town of Union Vale funded public library services at $6.15 per capita.
“The MHLS Direct Access Plan ensures no resident is excluded from direct or on-site access to the resources of member libraries,” stated Tom Sloan, MHLS Executive Director. “The Plan also permits a set of restrictions to library use when inadequate levels of public support negatively impact the services libraries provide the residents in their chartered service area,” said Sloan.