Posted: Monday, March 2, 2009, 9:03 am
We just finished putting together statistics for library operations in 2008. Amazingly, circulation of library materials continues to increase and was up 9.5% last year.
Library use often goes up in tandem with tough economic times like we are currently experiencing in both the state and nation. People everywhere are looking for ways to save money and stretch limited resources. The same is true for the Library, where careful stewardship of public funds is a strategic priority.
In our 2005-2008 Strategic Plan, we made a commitment to evaluate and improve the organization and its operation in a continuing effort to provide the community with effective, efficient library service.
Residents in the Worthington School District, which serves as the library's official service area, have invested a significant amount of money, through passage of two property tax levies, in the Library. With this investment comes the public's expectation that we will spend their money wisely.
Maintaining public trust is the most important thing to me. As anyone on the staff or library board can tell you, I'm never without the library's long-range financial plan. I work with this spreadsheet which tracks actual and projects future library income and expenses back to 1979 and through 2025 on a regular basis to make sure we are spending money in the best way to provide outstanding service.
That's why it gives me great satisfaction to report that Worthington Libraries is the recipient of both the Government Finance Officers Association's (GFOA) "Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting" award, and the State Auditor's "Making Your Tax Dollars Count" award, for its 2007 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) submitted last year.
Less than 5% of government agencies nationally receive the GFOA award. Only five libraries in Ohio prepare a CAFR and fewer than 5% of all government agencies in Ohio receive the State Auditor's award.
The State Auditor audits between 4,500-5,000 government entities annually, so less than 250 receive the "Making Your Tax Dollars Count" award. It is presented for excellence in financial reporting and states "You are a trustworthy guardian of taxpayer dollars and deserve the highest amount of recognition for your vigilance. The 2007 CAFR demonstrates your commitment to careful spending, accurate fiscal reporting and efficiency. You are truly a model for government entities throughout the state of Ohio."
I'm particularly proud of these awards as they recognize the hard work of both the library staff and board of trustees, who look for big and small ways to trim expenses and squeeze as much library service as possible out of every dollar. I'm also continually grateful for the community's ongoing support and use of the Library.