Library Board Approves $3.8 Million Budget

The Library Board of Trustees heard about a number of projects proposed by Library Director January Adams.

The Franklin Township Library Board of Trustees approved a $3.8 million 2022-2023 library budget and heard of some maintenance and other big-ticket projects in the offing at its May 25 meeting.

About 70 percent of the budget, or $2.7 million, is targeted for employee-related costs, including salaries, benefits and pensions.

The budget allocates $468,000 to library materials, $35,000 to library programs and $92,000 to building maintenance.

“This looks like a well-thought-out budget,” Trustees chairman Nick Ciampa said.

Library Director January Adams told the Trustees that there should be a budget surplus of about $574,065 by the end of June 2023. That’s good, she said, because there are a few things that are going to need attending to.

Two of the main issues, she said, are replacement of the library’s HVAC units and the roof over the gallery.

One unit has already been replaced, at a cost of $27,000, she said. Adams said she did not yet have prices on replacing the smaller units, but it’s important to set aside money for that “because they’re all going to go.”

The roof, she said, has been out of warranty for six years, and it periodically leaks.

Also, she said, the roof’s design makes it uncomfortably hot for library patrons in that part of the building.

“On Sunny days in the Spring, Summer, and Fall it gets really hot there,” she said.

Adams said a couple of years ago she received a “very informal” price quote of $1 million to replace the work.

Adams said she’d also like to do some reconfiguration of the library’s space.

The Mettler Historical Room should be enlarged, she said and the gallery should be rearranged.

The reference area should also be changed in response to the changing ways in which the public sues it, she said.

“People want help with their devices, and less help with references,” Adams said.

“We have patrons who have their own devices who use our WiFi to print,” she said. They are “looking for small spaces for privacy to do their work.”

Adams said the library’s reference staff needs to be consolidated “so they’re not so far-flung throughout the building.”

More staff space is also needed, Adams said.

“In some rooms we have five people in one room,” she said. “It would be nice for them to have their own space, or maybe two or three people in one room.”

Finally, Adams said, the carpeting needs to be replaced.

The replacement of the HVAC units and the gallery roof are more preventive maintenance, Adams said, while the other items she brought up fall into the “wish list” category.

Adams said and surplus money should be put into a capital building fund reserve as a start for paying for the projects she outlined.

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