Library Budget

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Re: Library Budget

Postby nis » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:53 pm

Would you look at that: http://www.londonderrynh.org/library/library_009.htm That is Londonderry Library Dynasty with 5 MLSes (that is Masters of Library Science, in case some of you were wondering)
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Re: Library Budget

Postby Fitzie » Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:36 pm

chancellor wrote:

Then, if everything goes to hell in a hand basket as a result of the library cuts, as shown by precise quantitative measures, then the budget could be reinstated.....


I don't know think many businesses would see this as an acceptable budgeting process. Not to mention it's a setup aimed at making sure cuts are never restored no matter what the consequences. Everyone will have a different interpretation of the failure ("hell in a hand basket") and measurement parameters. That's obvious within just the postings on this thread, nevermind an entire town.
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Re: Library Budget

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:34 pm

chancellor

I agree with your assessment. I guess us "hands on business types" often need to make quick decisions and can't figure out why it takes forever for a government entity to do so. I caught a bit of the Town Council meeting this evening and noticed that Mr Dwyer (obviously a business guy) wanted a concensus on PAYGO and curbside and what he received was a wet noodle. Meanwhile the hemming and hawing continues. I still have no idea where anyone stands on this.

If businesses spent that much time making decisions they'd be out of business. Don't get me wrong, I think the Town Council has a pretty good group serving right now, but it was a real snoozer to watch.

nis
What is your point? That we need a person with a Masters in every Dept? I wonder why that would be?
I suspect that the Library union must require that all Dept Heads have a Masters Degree. You might have also noticed that Londonderry only employs 18 people in its library.

As far as people losing their jobs. It is not the taxpayer's responsibility to create jobs to keep people employed. DO I feel bad? I do feel badly when anyone loses their job, but if we can't pay our taxes there won't be money for anyone to have a job. There comes a time when the status quo is no longer sustainable and we've reached it.

To give you an idea of the types of programs offered at the library I have provided a link to upcoming events.

http://www.eventkeeper.com/code/events. ... CK#1910000
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Re: Library Budget

Postby nis » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:43 am

Jeannine Stergios wrote:nis
What is your point? That we need a person with a Masters in every Dept? I wonder why that would be?
I suspect that the Library union must require that all Dept Heads have a Masters Degree. You might have also noticed that Londonderry only employs 18 people in its library.

As far as people losing their jobs. It is not the taxpayer's responsibility to create jobs to keep people employed. DO I feel bad? I do feel badly when anyone loses their job, but if we can't pay our taxes there won't be money for anyone to have a job. There comes a time when the status quo is no longer sustainable and we've reached it.

My point is: you should make statements AFTER you check, not BEFORE. You agreed that MMK is a "dynasty" with 5 people that have degrees, turns out every library is pretty much the same. I only chose Londonderry because you said you checked on that one. So it is not that "WE" need MLS in every department, it is "all the libraries". If you disagree with that, it is a different story, but don't make it sound like MMK is somehow an exception. Yes, Londonderry has fewer employees, but it also has an Assistant Director and Merrimack doesn't. If you really want to compare, you should go into all the details, not pick and choose.

I am not saying that the taxpayers have to keep people employed, I just think it is ironic that you keep talking about people who are loosing homes, yet want to fire a whole bunch of other people. Just seems inconsistent, that is all.

Not sure why you posted the link. I am well aware of the programs that the library offers.
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Re: Library Budget

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:11 am

I'm sure you are well aware as I also suspect that you are an employee of the library.

The link wasn't intended for your benefit only as other people might be interested. As far as so many people with Masters Degrees being employed in one library. - It doesn't negate the fact that having so many located in one building well it's hard to believe it would be a necessity. I'm sure there's some law that was enacted by a bureaucrat in the government dictating this requirement as well as the one where we cannot lay off people and replace them with volunteers. The government is supposed to be there to serve the people who pay their salaries - not be held hostage by their employees.

I guess you don't understand the connection between people losing their homes and property taxes. Trust me - when that bill comes in you never know how exactly how much it will be and you hope you have set aside enough money to pay on time. It's just like any other business. You let people go when you don't have enough money to pay them.
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Re: Library Budget

Postby nis » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:01 am

No worries, I am aware that being employee of the library appears to be the highest insult on this forum. Regardless of what you think, I AM a citizen of Merrimack and do pay taxes, just like you. So I have as much right to post on this forum as anybody.

Again, with the MLS, so you wouldn't have a problem if it was 2 buildings ;) Seriously though, it is like you haven't read what I posted. The setup is not unique. Just admit that you have a problem with ANYTHING regarding the library. Doesn't matter what is being said, your opinion will not change, so it is really a waste of time.

About people loosing their homes etc., just forget it, you are obviously not getting what I am saying, so never mind.
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Re: Library Budget

Postby chancellor » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:57 am

Nis,

I'm not sure that "admitting" to being a library employee is a bad thing here... I don't believe a librarian's work (be it a part-timer or MLSer) is invalid. What elicits frustration is the lack of real justification for the library budget. Could the library exist and provide good service for less? Almost every institute or company can.

Budgets are about money, not about people losing jobs at all. To proclaim that budget-cutters don't care about people is....well... probably true. Generally speaking, when I hear that someone has lost a job due to economy or budget cuts, mostly I am glad it is not me. Sounds calloused, but I am sure others share my sentiment.

I have been on six budget committees in my life. Each budget cycle, if cuts had to be made, we tried our best to do the right thing. We didn't form elaborate exploratory sub-committees, or conduct months of research. We had to act quickly. In doing so, we usually trimmed the least productive projects and employees. And we tried our hardest to keep the best employees. It may not seem fair, but does it seem fair to keep anything that is a drain - whether it is a company's bottom line or a community budget? No.

The fact is, the library is in the cross-hairs at the moment. Should it be? I don't know. That is the reason for this (and other discussions). If you stand-firm that the current library budget is justifiable, than fight like hell and state the facts. It really is up to the budget area (library) in question to do the leg-work here. Personally, I'm not yet for or against library budget cuts... but I vehemently oppose wasteful spending. If that means cutting the library budget, then so be it.
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Re: Library Budget

Postby Dennis King » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:48 pm

Thanks Jeannine for pointing this out:
http://www.eventkeeper.com/code/events. ... CK#1910000

Years ago, when my kids were young, I formed a group called "Daddy and me". We did a lot of fun things with our kids (museums, arts and crafts, and story time) and it seems to me, a lot of these library programs could be taken over by volunteers who simply want to meet other parents with kids at that age. I have recommended we go with Keith's original budget but also recommended another $100K reduction in the library budget. I hope next year, we can eliminate the library and replace it with a company (profit of non profit) that will sell new and used books, facilitate activities with community volunteers, and provide kindle downloads (wonder if "rental downloads" might work instead of a full download, you have it for x weeks). New technology and new ideas need to be explored, we can no longer support the patronage system and it should not require a masters degree to put a book on the shelf.
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Re: Library Budget

Postby nis » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:27 pm

chancellor wrote:Nis,

I'm not sure that "admitting" to being a library employee is a bad thing here... I don't believe a librarian's work (be it a part-timer or MLSer) is invalid.
I am not sure why admitting anything is relevant in this discussion. Like I said, I live in Merrimack and pay taxes, I have 2 kids and go to the library all the time. I have enough knowledge to participate in this discussion, I would even say a bit more knowledge than some people in this thread. So that being said, let's continue.

chancellor wrote: What elicits frustration is the lack of real justification for the library budget. Could the library exist and provide good service for less? Almost every institute or company can.
What elicits frustration for me is this very statement. How can you say there is no real justification? Library budget is discussed every year in GREAT detail. The trustees encourage questions and answer them willingly. Library is providing very good service for less every year. Every year its budget is being cut and every year they "suck it up" and still provide great service. Only last year they finally cut some hours because they just couldn't not do it anymore.

chancellor wrote: "The fact is, the library is in the cross-hairs at the moment. Should it be? I don't know. That is the reason for this (and other discussions). If you stand-firm that the current library budget is justifiable, than fight like hell and state the facts. It really is up to the budget area (library) in question to do the leg-work here. Personally, I'm not yet for or against library budget cuts... but I vehemently oppose wasteful spending. If that means cutting the library budget, then so be it.
I am not sure how long you have been in Merrimack, but library is "in the cross-hairs" EVERY year. And like someone already said, I am not saying we should not cut the budget at all, everybody is being cut and it is understandable. The problem is the proportion of the cut to the budget. It is just not fair. I don't want to go into figures simply because I don't know them off the top of my head, and God forbid I present a wrong figure. So if you have specific questions you should ask, and I am sure someone like Pat McGrath will answer it. He participates in this forum, not sure if other trustees do.
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Re: Library Budget

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:21 pm

nis

Absolutely no one has suggested that you have no right to post here so please stop claiming they have.

I did notice that Hudson tracked its unique users of the library and the number was just a bit over 5,000 people. Approximately 20% of their residents. I would imagine it isn't much different here. If you and each of your kids check out three books every week that would be 9 x 52 weeks = 468 books/Cds/Music etc. per year. All it would take to reach 140,000 checkouts per year are for 300 people to do that same as your family. So although the number 143,000 sounds like thousands of people checking out books it really isn't as large a number as it first seemed.

I would also like to mention where are these big library supporters when it comes time to donating money to the library? The last cardboard race was only able to raise $1200 and just so you know, my business donated $100 of it. Seems to me these big supporters should be more generous about something they can't live without. I support libraries but I don't support wasting taxpayer money simply to provide jobs.
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Re: Library Budget

Postby chancellor » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:02 pm

Nis,

Did you really say, "it's not fair" that the library comes under a microscope every year? If that's the case, then clearly lots of people see it as bloated and over-funded. It's not fair... jeez, what are we in third grade?

Listen, I also love the library. But if its budget needs to be cut, I am sure the benefits will out weigh any harms.


Dennis, I think your revolutionary idea is called "a bookstore". They're pretty neat places... you should check one out. And that downloadable concept is already in place at the library now. Dennis, clearly you see yourself as a visionary. Your ideas are often interesting, sometimes valid, but mostly they are outlandish and impractically suited for the current situation.
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Re: Library Budget

Postby nis » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:50 pm

Jeannine Stergios wrote: So although the number 143,000 sounds like thousands of people checking out books it really isn't as large a number as it first seemed.
I thought it was 291k not 145?

Jeannine Stergios wrote:I would also like to mention where are these big library supporters when it comes time to donating money to the library? The last cardboard race was only able to raise $1200 and just so you know, my business donated $100 of it. Seems to me these big supporters should be more generous about something they can't live without. I support libraries but I don't support wasting taxpayer money simply to provide jobs.

Well, that is where we disagree. I don't think library is a waste of my taxes. If people want to donate to the library that is great, but they are already paying for it as they do for other services, so they shouldn't have to. If you disagree, does that mean we HAVE to donate to police department, fire department, schools etc. in order to keep them running?
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Re: Library Budget

Postby nis » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:51 pm

chancellor wrote:Nis,

Did you really say, "it's not fair" that the library comes under a microscope every year?
No, that is NOT what I said. I said it is not fair to have such disproportionate cuts.
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Re: Library Budget

Postby Jeannine Stergios » Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:08 am

nis

Show me where I said the library is a waste of money. You keep putting words in my mouth.
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Re: Library Budget

Postby nis » Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:38 am

Jeannine, it seems like you are trying to pick a fight. I am trying to ignore your attempts, but pretty soon I will just stop answering.

You said "I support libraries but I don't support wasting taxpayer money simply to provide jobs." Keeping in mind earlier discussion about dynasties, too many degrees, too many library employees etc., I think my conclusion that you think providing jobs for librarians is a waste of money is understandable. If I misunderstood you, I apologize.
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