Wyoming: Laramie County Library System Could Face Financial Crisis
From the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle:
The Laramie County Library System [Cheyenne, WY] could face a fiscal crisis in as few as four years.
And unless the economy rapidly improves by then, or the Laramie County Commission votes to give the library more tax money, the library may be forced to make massive cuts in programming.
With an annual budget of nearly $5 million, the library currently gets the bulk of its funding from two of the county’s 12 property tax mills, as well as 10 percent of the fifth-penny sales tax, a portion of the auto license fee and several smaller miscellaneous sources.
During the library’s initial planning stages [early 2000s], [County Librarian Lucy] Osborn said she traveled to dozens of libraries from the West Coast to Michigan to get insight on any costs she might have overlooked. In all those conversations, however, none of the librarians she spoke to mentioned the cost of service contracts.
“The service contract for all of our self-checks and sort system is roughly $70,000 a year,” she said. “We visited about 35, 40 libraries, and we did not pick up on that at all.”
She added that the increase in technology costs was another area nobody in 2002 or 2003 could predict would happen as rapidly as it has. According to the library system’s FY 2013 budget, $80,000 has been earmarked for internal software and license agreements, with another $102,000 going to network upgrades, $38,000 to telecommunications equipment and $115,000 to electricity.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.