The library is open 70 hours per week, and over 1,000 people walk through our doors each day. In fact, our circulation figures are the second highest in Nassau County. Since we moved into our expanded facility in 2001, the library has maintained staffing levels, and has decreased the number of full time staff for the 2005 year.
We've maximized service to our patrons, and continue to look for ways to improve efficiency. For example, the library participates in purchasing consortiums with the other 53 libraries in Nassau County, which yields discounts in book purchases, database subscriptions and consulting services.
The library continues to broaden its reach by offering remote access to data-base information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through its website. This is accomplished without increasing staff or building operation costs. A gift from the Library Foundation allowed us to install a wireless network which expands our provision of Internet access without expanding the facility or purchasing additional computers.
The library seeks to meet the changing needs of all age groups in Port Washington, and aggressively seeks private funds to do so. The Friends of the Library funds programs for all age levels year in and year out. The library's annual fund appeal provides private funding for programs in the areas of music, art, health, nautical and children's performances. Also, the library foundation has contributed $225,000 to the parking lot project. These efforts by library volunteers make a significant impact on controlling costs in the library budget.
The library board has heard the concerns of the public, and has presented a new budget, which reduces the original request for increase by 17 percent. Fifty-two thousand dollars was taken from material and staff-related expenditures, reducing the increase from $294,000 to $242,000.
Our new and expanded parking lot is under way and therefore the library re-vote will take place at the United Methodist Church, 1515 Middleneck Road, on June 8.
Director, Port Washington Pubic Library