The Library team has hosted three Townhall style meetings thus far. We presented our information to around 40 total participants in Cassville, Eagle Rock, and Mount Vernon. The following are some of the questions community members asked:
Q: "Is the 7¢ for the Library going to improve all branches or only the larger branches?"
A: "All library branches will benefit from the additional funding and resources if voters vote yes on April 7th and approve the 7¢ for the Library."
Q: "What will be some of the immediate priority improvements will we see after we approve the 7¢ for the Library?"
A: "The Library can quickly add some services like expanding our collection of books and other materials that affect everyone. Other things, like extending days and hours, may require more staff and may take a little while to see change. We have three branches with failing, and leaking roofs things like that will obviously;y take priority."
Q: "How does the 7¢ for the Library affect library funding moving forward?"
A: "When Library Leadership considered the 7¢ for the Library, we wanted to correct our funding shortfall in a meaningful way rather than a quick fix. So, should voters agree with the 7¢ for the Library, we would not expect to need to add to the property tax for a decade or more."
Q: How does our Library compare to other libraries across the state with funding levels and tax rates?
A: The BLRL is one of the largest library districts in the State. Out of 155 library districts, we are 16th in the number of people served and have the 13th largest collection of books and media. But in the tax rate we collect, we rank way down the list at 89th. This library tax rate (15¢ max) was set way back in 1973 and is the reason our library district struggles to make ends meet while providing the best services.
The remaining meetings you could attend:
Marionville Library - Mar. 16th @ 6 pm
Aurora Library - Mar. 19th @ 6:30 pm
Monett Library - Mar. 26th @ 6 pm (Pierce City Library community are invited to attend)