Thank You!

Posted on Tuesday 7 September 2010

I wish to thank the hundreds of Library well-wishers who joined in last Saturday’s celebration of the Westerville Public Library’s 80th year of service to the community. As you know, we are passionate about our Library and are committed to the continued success of this great community treasure. The gathering that marked our 80th anniversary and our successes over the past eight decades was a memorable experience thanks to the participation of many individuals.

First, we acknowledge and thank the Friends of the Library organization for their sponsorship of the celebration. Under the leadership of president Arlene Roeder, their devoted and hardworking board provides for Library needs throughout the year.

A highpoint of the festivities was the Westerville Library Foundation’s unveiling of newly engraved pavers ordered by more than 100 individuals and organizations in honor of the 80th anniversary. The Library is humbled by the display of heartfelt messages inscribed in the courtyard and grateful for the leadership and dedication of the Westerville Library Foundation led by president George Pilcher.

We thank State Representative Marian Harris for her kind remarks and presentation of a commendation from the Ohio House of Representatives honoring the Library and praising those who have nurtured and sustained the Library with their commitment to literacy and education over the 80 years.

We are grateful to Kathy Cocuzzi, Mayor of the City of Westerville, for her tribute and presentation of the City Proclamation marking our anniversary and recognizing the Trustees, volunteers and Friends who give their time and talent to the Library.

Finally, the Library’s 80 years of success is a reflection of the forward thinking and enlightenment that has always typified the residents of this community. We thank those individuals and families who treasure their Library and took a moment to wish the Library a “happy birthday,” and we invite everyone to view those recordings and photos on our website.

Thank you for making the Westerville Public Library a center of information and ideas — a place that inspires thought and innovation. For 80 years the Library has served persons of every age, from preschoolers imagining the world ahead at story hour, to senior citizens re-reading the history of their youth.

Don W. Barlow
Executive Director

Executive Director @ 10:29 am
Filed under: Events andGeneral Topics
Help Celebrate our 80th Anniversary!

Posted on Tuesday 8 June 2010

Dear Westerville Library Patron,
This year the Westerville Public Library is celebrating 80 years of service to our community. We invite you to support the Library and create a lasting tribute by purchasing an engraved brick for the Library courtyard.

An engraved brick or a large paver can place your name and message in stone, celebrate a holiday or important event, and be given as a gift. This is a unique opportunity to extend Father`s Day wishes, applaud a graduate, congratulate newlyweds and more. Interested? More details can be found on the Westerville Library’s Foundation page.

The sale of the engraved bricks contributes to our mission: helping to provide for the current needs of the Library during this time of reduced funding, while building a strong foundation for another 80 years and beyond.

We hope you will attend the Library`s 80th Anniversary Reception, Saturday, Aug. 21. Music in the atrium and a magic show will begin at 1pm, with the unveiling of the newly engraved bricks at 2pm. Enjoy cake and a peek at pictures of the Library through the years, too. Orders placed by July 7 will be part of the unveiling.

Thank you in advance for your continuing support of our community treasure!

Don

Executive Director @ 1:40 pm
Filed under: General Topics
Among the Nation’s Best – Once Again!

Posted on Monday 19 April 2010

Congratulations to the Board and Library Staff! Library rankings have been released for 2010 and once again, the Westerville Public Library is ranked among the country’s Best Public Libraries in the Hennen Library Rankings Index.  The 2010 Edition rates 7,930 public libraries in the United States using the latest federal data.   Libraries are rated, scored and ranked on 15 input and output measures. The Westerville Public Library is ranked 8th among libraries in the 50,000-100,000 population range. This is the 7th time in 10 years that the Westerville has ranked in the top ten and the 12th consecutive year that Westerville has ranked above the 90th percentile, or in the top 10% of all libraries in the US. Again, congratulations to the Library Board, our staff and most importantly congratulations to the citizens of the Westerville Public Library District. Don

Executive Director @ 8:42 pm
Filed under: General Topics
Another Record Year for YOUR Library!

Posted on Wednesday 17 March 2010

Another record year for the Westerville Public Library! I want to give my thanks to a great staff and Library Board. Their energies and dedication have made the library successful through a very difficult financial year! I also want to give a special thanks to the citizens of the library district for their continuing support and library patronage. You make the difference!

For all of the 2009 highlights, check out our Annual Report!

Executive Director @ 8:35 pm
Filed under: General Topics
What a Year!

Posted on Wednesday 27 January 2010

I want to take this opportunity to once again express the library staff’s appreciation to our customers!  The Westerville Public Library weathered the storm of drastic budget cuts from the decline of over 32% in state revenue. Thanks to you, we did not experience the 52% cut originally targeted at Ohio Libraries.  In one 48 hour period, over 36,000 of our customers contacted our legislator and the Governor’s Office to protest the draconian cuts, resulting in 20% of those cuts being restored.  THANK YOU!

We appreciate your patience and understanding, as the library had to close on Sundays to meet the challenges of losing nearly $900,000 in revenue.  We are committed to re-opening Sundays and even expanding those hours as soon as our budget permits.  Enough of the bad stuff!

In 2009, your library continued to grow in unprecedented fashion. The Westerville Public Library continues to be the fourth busiest library facility in Ohio and one of the busiest in the United States circulating over 2,199,000 items in 2009. Over 72,000 items were borrowed or loaned to other libraries throughout the state, through OhioLInk, SearchOhio and Library Link.

36,786 people attended the 1,492 programs held at the library, or offsite or at one of the 26 school locations in Westerville.  357,745 items were picked up at our DRIVE-UP window/Reserve Room.  WOW!

All of this was accomplished with 13 less staff members than in 2008!  I cannot overly express my appreciation and deepest respect for each and every staff member.  They accepted the challenges before us and met those challenges each and every day. They did so with enthusiasm and a determination and dedication that can only be admired.  The people of Westerville are very proud and grateful to have such dedicated public servants.  I am truly blessed to call them my colleagues!

Thank You Westerville for yet another Outstanding and record breaking year!

Don W. Barlow

Director

Executive Director @ 3:00 pm
Filed under: General Topics
Sunday Closing & Budget Cuts

Posted on Tuesday 4 August 2009

Due to the recent $84.3 million cut in state funding for libraries, the Library budget must be reduced by an additional 11%, an overall 32% reduction so far this year. After much consideration, the Library Board of Trustees has approved the following measures to reduce the budget by an additional $900,000 total.

Reductions and cuts will include:

  • Close Sunday Hours Effective August 9. Sunday is the most expensive day to operate. With staffing reduced, closing Sundays will provide staff needed for the remainder of the week.
  • Reduce Personnel Expenses. Continue the hiring freeze which has reduced staff by 11 so far this year. No salary increases for staff will be given. Reductions in health care costs for staff are being prepared.
  • Cut Maintenance Costs. Cancel cleaning contract. Discontinue meeting room set-ups to allow staff time for janitorial duties. Reduce HVAC servicing.
  • Reduce Spending. Cut marketing budget by 60%. Reduce communications budget.  Cut back supplies.
  • Reduce Materials Budget. Reduce purchases of books, periodicals, media and electronic databases.

Because the Westerville Public Library is fortunate to receive local levy support, the reductions have made limited impact on services to the public. The Board, administration and staff will strive to maintain these services.

Thank you for your continued support!

tamara @ 7:15 pm
Filed under: General Topics
New State Budget Results in Major Losses in Library Funding

Posted on Thursday 16 July 2009

Your messages of support for your library helped convince Ohio elected officials to reject the massive cuts that had been proposed.  Thank you for your support.  However, the state budget that passed July 13 cut another 11% out of Ohio’s Public Library Fund.  Added to the 20% drop in funding for libraries the first six months of this year, these new cuts now mean a 31% loss of state funding, with potential for another 4% reduction.

Unfortunately, the Westerville Public Library cannot absorb a 31% reduction in state funding without making some difficult decisions related to maintaining services for our customers.  We are currently finalizing the plans for reductions and cost-saving measures that we will share with you shortly.  The Library Board of Trustees and library staff deeply appreciate your patience and understanding as we address the continuing and unprecedented cuts in funding.

Find out more about how you can help.

tamara @ 1:17 pm
Filed under: General Topics
Library Budget Cuts & the Future

Posted on Wednesday 15 July 2009

Thank you for your emails, calls and letters to the Governor and state legislators!

Your messages of support for your library helped convince Ohio elected officials to reject the massive cuts that had been proposed. The state budget that passed July 13 included additional cuts of $84.3 million to Ohio’s Public Library Fund over the next two years. Although that is not the $227.3 million originally proposed, the cuts that were approved this week, added to the 20% drop in the Public Library Fund the first six months of this year, will result in a 31% loss of state funding.

Unfortunately, the Westerville Public Library cannot absorb a 31% reduction in state funding without making some difficult decisions related to continuing the level of services our customers depend upon. We are currently finalizing the plans for service reductions and other cost-saving measures that we will share with you shortly. The Library Board of Trustees and library staff deeply appreciate your patience and understanding as we move forward in addressing the continuing and unprecedented cuts in funding.

Your continued awareness and powerful support are extremely important to your library. Please voice your need and appreciation of the services and benefits your library provides. Thank you very much for your support.

Please see this article from the Columbus Dispatch and the Ohio Library Council’s website for more information.

tamara @ 2:04 pm
Filed under: General Topics andServices
Libraries Need Your Help!

Posted on Monday 22 June 2009

On Friday, June 19th, the Governor proposed a cut in the Public Library Fund of $227.3 million in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 as part of his plan to patch the $3.2 billion gap in the state budget that must be filled by June 30th.  This will mean a more than 50% cut in funding for many of Ohio’s public libraries.

This would result in drastic cuts in services, staff and hours of operation. While the state is experiencing an 18% reduction in revenue, the cut would be especially devastating for Ohio’s public libraries. Keep in mind that not a single library closed during the Great Depression.

We are encouraging all of our patrons to contact Ohio legislators and the Governor’s Office on behalf of Ohio libraries before June 30th. Let them know what your library means to you! Contact information is listed below.

Not sure what to write? Check out this sample letter.

Governor Ted Strickland
614-466-3555

Senator Bill Harris, President of the Senate
614-466-8086

Senator David Goodman, 3rd District
614-466-8064

Representative Kevin Bacon, 21st District
614-466-6030

Representative Marian Harris, 19th District
614-466-4847

Representative Nancy Garland, 20th District
614-644-6002

Representative Kris Jordan, 2nd District
614-644-6711

For more information on the budget proposal, please refer to this article from Library Journal, or the Save Ohio Libraries website.

tamara @ 2:47 pm
Filed under: General Topics
Economic Downturn Creates Budget Shortfalls

Posted on Monday 5 January 2009

We all know the economy is hurting and that the effects of the economic downturn will be felt by all of us. Library funding is certainly no different. The Westerville Public Library will experience an 8% reduction in state revenue in 2009. Our philosophy is that we are all in this together and the library is doing its part by drastically curtailing our expenses without making cuts in programs and services.

I want to take this opportunity to let our community know how the library will address the budget reductions.

First, the library will have no increases in personnel costs for 2009. While current staff will receive a modest 2% pay increase, the library has instituted a hiring freeze for 2009. Currently, there are four vacant positions that will not be filled. Additional vacancies throughout the year will reduce personnel costs even more.

Secondly, the costs of purchasing library materials have been returned to 2007 levels. Also, all capital projects and repairs have been placed on hold until the economic climate improves.

However, while we have dramatically reduced our expenses, budget cuts alone are not enough. We must also enhance library revenues. So, the Library Board is asking for your help! Effective January 15, 2009, library fines will be increased to match those of other area libraries. Overdue fines for books, cds, etc. will increase from 10 cents per day to 20 cents per day. Overdue fines for DVD’s will increase from $1.00 per day to $1.25 per day.

Additionally, the maximum for fines and fees has been reduced from $5.00 to only $1.00. We are asking our customers to bring their library accounts up-to-date so that additional reductions will not be needed. We certainly understand the inconvenience of some of these initiatives and ask for your understanding and support as we move forward in this difficult economic climate with what we hope will be temporary measures. With your help, we will continue to provide the very best programs and services possible.

Thank you for your continuing support!

Don W. Barlow

Director

Executive Director @ 2:43 pm
Filed under: General Topics
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