Library board’s ’14 budget has deficit

Continuing work on making up a budget deficit of nearly $20,000, the James V. Brown Library board of trustees approved its proposed 2014 budget Thursday.

The proposed budget sees a decrease of about $37,000 in revenue from 2013 to 2014. Expenditures have been decreased nearly $18,000 from this year.

The biggest hits to the library’s revenue in the proposed budget are from both the county and fines with a combined decrease of about $24,000.

Fines for overdue material are down $13,000 and county funding was decreased by just a little more than $11,000.

Barbara McGary, library executive director, said that the library continues to have discussions with county officials to try and see what can be done for library funding.

The budget proposal includes an increase in salaries of about 2 percent, which Shirley Alters, chief financial officer, is a “little bit less” than what has been done in the past.

The library made cutbacks in several expenditure line items, Alters said, and added that it will continue to do some “fine tuning.”

“We have a deficit, which means we’re going to have to watch our figures very closely,” said Harold Hershberger Jr., board chairman, on the budget proposal. “But I think we’re going to come out in good shape at the end of the year, at least I hope.”

McGary continued throughout the meeting talking about not only the library’s work the past year but what it hopes to do in 2014.

The library will continue to connect with the community in the new year, McGary said. In 2013, the library held numerous community events and programs, including its summer reading program and growing the community calendar ConnectWilliamsport.

The library also is hoping to create a plan to replace its story mobile. The story mobile, which visits 34 day cares throughout the area and sees about 200 students every two weeks, has been used by the library since 1995.

The story mobile recently was featured in author Will Hillenbrand’s children’s book. A Hillenbrand illustration also adorns the story mobile.

In 2014, it also will mark the five-year anniversary of the addition of the Welch Children’s Wing.