PAVILION – Hollwedel Memorial Library, 5 Woodrow Drive, will increase its hours of operation and expand its program offering after voters in the Pavilion Cnetral school district approved a change in the library’s charter.
On May 18, residents passed by a vote of 151 to 38 a proposal that will establish Hollwedel as the school district’s public library. The change will increase the library’s service area to cover the entire boundary of the Pavilion Central School District, which includes the communities of Genesee, Livingston and Wyoming counties. Previously, the library had only been chartered to serve the town of Pavilion.
“The (library) board gratefully acknowledges the public’s support and confidence in changing the library’s service area,” board chair Joan Gray said in a statement.
The process of changing the charter will take several months.
“Once that is done, the hours will increase and more programs will be offered,” Gray said. “We are excited about the opportunities available to everyone in the school district.”
The library, which is currently open 21 hours per week, will increase to 31 hours per week once the charter change takes effect.
The charter change is expected to stabilize the library funding needed to operate, library officials said.
Without this change, the future of the library was uncertain, Gray had said previously.
The Hollwedel Memorial Library has seen a steady growth in the number of borrowers and use of the services by local residents, while recording stable or reduced funding revenues in recent years, noted library officials in part of two public presentations ahead of this week’s vote.
In addition, New York State’s mandatory minimum wage laws have had a significant impact on the library budget, with these costs increasingly requiring the use of more library funds. said library officials.
The increase in costs has left the library with few funds for programming or to purchase materials. The library spent less than $ 10,000 per year on library materials, the lowest of the 21 libraries in the Nioga Library System, which serves the libraries in Genesee, Orleans and Niagara counties.
Hollwedel spent around $ 500 on programming, also among the lowest in the system, library officials said.
With this week’s vote, voters approved a tax levy of $ 130,000. Previously, the levy was $ 99,800.
The new royalty represents community funding of 44 cents per $ 1,000 of assessed value on Pavilion Central School District properties, or an annual cost to the library of $ 44 for a home valued at $ 100,000.
The additional income will allow the library to purchase more materials and offer a wide selection of items to its patrons.
New York State has four types of legally licensed public libraries: associations, municipalities, school districts, and special districts. The type of library depends on how the library was created, which in turn dictates how it can raise funds and be governed.
Hollwedel was previously a city library, with its budget subject to city council approval and an official service area limited to that city.
As a school district public library, Hollwedel’s budget will be voted on annually by school district voters. The library can also request a tax levy from municipalities. The fee would then be collected by the school district, although the school has no direct control over the library.
The change will also provide elected representation to taxpayers, as library administrators will now be elected rather than appointed. The administrators, who must be residents of the school district, will be accountable to the electors of the school district and the State Board of Regents.
This week’s vote included the election of a seven-person board of directors. The board members are Deb Davis, Sharon Fuerch, Stephen Gould, Joan Gray, Karen Kingsley, Danielle Offhause and Tim Wasiewicz.
The Hollwedel Memorial Library will remain housed in the same building it currently uses at 5 Woodrow Drive.