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Fiscal Year Budget Plan, Mountaintop Public Library

Briana Elliot
Given the 5% decrease of the current $581,250 total library budget, I
estimate that this means an overall decrease of $29,062 for the next
fiscal year.
5%-Reduction-in-Services Plan:
Below, I have taken the given budget and expenses, and have
highlighted (in red) areas in which I believe would be best to reduce,
while still attempting to provide services to all age groups and patron

Next Years FY Budget

Last Years FY Budget

LibraryAssistant(2) 22,00022,000








Total Library Materials

$ 159,000 $137,000





Total Equipment

$ 30,000 5,000







Total Library Budget

$ 581,250 552,188
(5% decrease: $29,062)

Taking an overall survey of what is currently being spent on each

department or category of the FY budget above, I elect that only a few
areas in the budget be reduced, in order to attempt to preserve the
librarys status quo as much as possible. The recommendations are the
1. Reduce one Librarian Assistants hours & pay by $5,000/FY
2. Reduce the physical Book budget by $16,000/FY
3. Reduce Subscription budget by $9,000/FY
4. Increase the Online Database budget (to increase digital content) by
5. Reduce the Repair and Maintenance budget by $2,062
6. Bolster new support for a larger, sustainable volunteer (& outreach)
Given the growing population of young families with children, children
who are being home-schooled and heavily rely upon the library for
supplementary educational resources, I do propose to not cut spending
in the areas that this patron group would most likely need. Indeed, the
librarys role in supplementing the educational experiences of so many
home-schooled children is an imperative one, and thus, this age-group
(from children to teens, and their families) must be provided for.
To do this, I suggest that a hefty portion of the new Collections/Book
budget ($69,000 in my new FY budget proposal) be allocated to

Childrens and Teen library materials. With this change, as well as

relying more on digital content and online databases for rounding out
collections, I believe the families with children, as well as all other
patrons who have digital needs, will suffer least. I propose here to add
$3,000 to the Online Database budget, as seen above. Providing digital
content is an assumed cheaper route, as it decreases the need to
purchase physical books if digital copies are made available; the
budget is limited in providing substantial additions to physical
collections at this time, due to the new 5% budget cut.
Furthermore, providing more digital content can help propel the
education of and access to new technologies that are especially
important for children and teens to be exposed to, given that they are
either at home or at the library, and not at a school that might provide
them with further technology education. Where physical collections
lack, the online/digital content will hopefully pick up. Providing digital
copies of books will ultimately save money, especially since the
library already has pre-existing online database and digital content
access points established.
As for the budget cut on subscriptions, which amounts to a reduction
totaling $9,000, I also believe that this is another area that can
withstand cuts with the least amount of disapproval of patrons. I
suggest to keep up the childrens- and teen-related materials within
the subscription budget, and cut less popular subscriptions for older
age groups.
Lastly, I propose a $2,062 cut from the Maintenance and Repair
budget. A budget cut here is conceivable, if a long-term volunteer plan
is achieved. Mountain Top Public Library already states to having
regular volunteers, and I propose to get more community members
involved in order to give back time and effort to a beloved library.
Specific recruitment of volunteers within the older-children and teen
age groups could assist in the immediate help within the library (to
help balance out the reduced hours of the one Librarian Assistant),
specifically aimed to helping library personnel with the target patron
group of new families with children. Other recruitment would include
any other family or community members who can volunteer their time
for helping with maintenance repair of the library, specifically. This
might seem like a daring move, to choose to reduce the already small
Maintenance and Repair budget, yet I believe that some families would
have some know-how in regards to maintenance and repair, seeing
that the library itself is in a rural area. It is a risk to rely on volunteers
in this regard, so I suggest the library hosts Volunteer Work Days (as
a public school would) to invite families and community members of all

ages to use their individual skills to complete a pre-prepared Repair

and Maintenance list. This would help balance out the cut in the
Maintenance and Repair budget.
Management changes that do not necessarily have a monetary
expense, would be to reallocate and redefine job descriptions of the
current librarians and library personnel. It would seem that, though the
Mountaintop Public Library overview states that most personnel do all
of the various library tasks listed, the library would most benefit from
personnel who have and understand their new detailed job
descriptions. This tactic of having somewhat strict, yet flexible if
needed, job descriptions, allows management to ensure that all library
patron groups are being served effectively. Every library personnel
would be assigned a different age group (with more personnel and
librarian attention to the childrens and teen age groups), and focus on
providing services for that group. Particular attention of job task
delegation should absolutely take into account the increasing needs of
families and their homeschooled children.
Here, another opportunity arises in learning to utilize the librarys
current and future volunteers, and perhaps recruiting new families with
older children and teens, to participate in building a sustainable, longterm volunteer program. Such a multigenerational model, as
proposed by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), can
have several positive impacts on the community; one major impact
being the volunteers, especially the youth volunteers, will be
empowered by the experience in helping those who might be younger
than them. YALSA states in their study of utilizing cross-generational
mentoring opportunities, the following:
The Search Institutes list of assets that teens need in order to grow-up
successfully includes assets of empowerment, support, and social
competencies. Programs in which teens share skills and knowledge
with those younger and older are essential in helping teens to gain
these assets and therefore play a role in an adolescents long-term
growth and development.

The volunteer program thus has the possible scope of assisting with
more simple library tasks, like checking in and out books, as well as
having the potential to significantly help out with the new and growing
needs of new families and their children. In addition, the
multigenerational volunteer program would assist in the empowerment
of older and teen volunteers as they are sculpted from their new skills
and experiences when volunteering in their community. With all the
budget changes as stated above, and with the extra help of continuing
and new volunteers, the library and its patrons will still be served to
managements best abilities.

1. American Librarian Association, Young Adult Library Services
The Importance of a Whole Library Approach to Public Library
Young Adult Services: A YALSA Issue Paper