Hello, summer! This is an exciting time for Worthington Libraries.
As I write this, we are on schedule to launch a new library catalog on May 22 in tandem with our resource-sharing partners at Columbus Metropolitan Library and Southwest Public Libraries. This partnership, in place since 1994, has provided Worthington Libraries cardholders with access to over three million items. We didn't think it could get much better, but now it has.
by Chuck Gibson
In 2012, Worthington Libraries joined the Central Library Consortium. This is a cooperation of 11 library systems across six counties that includes longtime partners Columbus Metropolitan Library and Southwest Public Libraries, as well as Grandview Heights Public Library, Fairfield County District Library, Marysville Public Library, Pickaway County Public Library, Plain City Public Library, Alexandria Public Library and Wagnalls Memorial Library. As a result, patrons of Worthington Libraries will now have access to over one million more unique items that can be seamlessly borrowed and returned to any library in the consortium.
The good news keeps coming! We also recently announced the expansion of our Worthington Park Library. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to visit this library, it is located in the Worthington Park Shopping Center in the northeast section of our community. At just over 5,200 square feet in size, it is considerably smaller than our other facilities, but is serving a growing population (Worthington Park Library circulated more than 350,000 items in 2012).
The expansion includes two adjacent storefronts and increases the library's space by 64 percent. The additional space allows us to provide services the community has asked for, such as a meeting room and audiovisual collection. We anticipate construction costs to be in the neighborhood of $160,000 and look forward to completing the expansion during this calendar year.
The Library works hard to be a careful steward of taxpayer dollars. Strategic collaborations, such as joining the Central Library Consortium, allow us to maximize service without increasing costs. Expanding Worthington Park Library is the right thing to do to meet the demand for service while storefronts are available and rental fees are low. We do, however, have longterm funding issues that must be addressed.
The 2.2 mill property tax levy passed by Worthington School District residents in 1992 will expire in 2014. This levy supplies nearly 40 percent of the library's annual revenue. Since our last levy passed in 2005 (a 2.6 mill permanent levy), the Library has lost more than $2.3 million from the state due to funding cuts and budget freezes (Ohio's public libraries are currently funded at levels equivalent to what they received in 1998). The library's board of trustees is currently working on a plan to address the expiration of the 2.2 mill levy.
Please let me know if you have any questions or feedback! Have a wonderful summer, and play ball (see the Summer Reading League section for details).
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