Written by Betsy Abraham Wednesday, 20 March 2013 00:00
The proposed budget for the Westbury Public Library includes a $31,000 increase, but taxpayers need not to worry: they will actually be paying less.
“We did really well this past year in terms of carefully saving money so we ended up with a surplus,” said library director Cathleen Towey. “Our board of trustees decided to take a certain amount of money from the surplus, to supplement the needs of the budget and keep costs low.”
Taxpayers are expected to pay one percent less this year. Cost of library services passed along to the taxpayers will decrease to $284, from last year’s $288.
The library has proposed spending an increase of $15,000 in books and $9,000 in audio visual materials, while cutting costs in other departments such as printing and publicity, postage, retirement and social security.
These increases will allow the library to purchase more books, including bestsellers (both in print and for Nooks) as well as more music and movies. Towey is also hoping that this year, patrons will see more iPads circulated around the library.
Last year the library cut costs by switching to an electronic newsletter, using in-house staff for lawn maintenance, and partnering with outside agencies for free services. With last year’s budget, the library was able to replace several computers as well as make more of them Internet accessible.
The library was also awarded $11,000 through the Greentree Foundation Good Neighbor Grant, which was used to purchase iPads, Mac computers, and Nooks for the Teen Zone. Currently, over 21,000 Westbury and Carle Place residents are active cardholders at the library. In 2012, Westbury circulated almost 225,000 books, movies and related items and close to 19,000 people attended library-sponsored programs.
The Library Budget Vote and Trustee Election will be Tuesday, April 2 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m in the library meeting room. Towey encourages residents to come out and vote, and show their support for their local library.
“We managed to decrease the budget because we care about the taxpayers. I’d love for more people to let us know if they’re happy with things or if they’d like certain things to change,” Towey said.
Trustee elections will also take place on April 2. Kenneth Little is running unopposed and seeking re-election to his third consecutive five-year term on the Board of Trustees.
Voter registration takes place Tuesday, March 26 from 2 to 8p.m. U.S. citizens 18 years and older who are residents of the Westbury School District and registered to vote in the Nassau County or Westbury School District Elections are eligible to vote. For more information, visit www.WestburyLibrary.org or call (516) 333-0176.