New Berlin - A zero-increase proposed 2013 budget for the New Berlin Public Library is headed for the Common Council as it starts its budget deliberations in just a few weeks.
The library's proposed $1,388,000 spending plan is now in the hands of the mayor and will go to aldermen Aug. 31 with any changes.
The proposed budget includes no across-the-board increase for the staff but does contain a "pay for performance" component tied to employee evaluation. No layoffs are proposed.
A zero-increase budget is possible because of savings tied to the library's involvement in the countywide CAFÉ (Computer Access for Everyone) and savings in several smaller areas, said Library Director Dennis Sampson. The library joined CAFÉ in September 2011.
For one, next year's budget will benefit from the library's involvement in CAFÉ for a full year, Sampson said.
Also, because CAFÉ has helped increase circulation by making it easier for patrons to borrow from all 16 CAFÉ libraries, the New Berlin Library is in line for more funding from the Waukesha County Federated Library System, he added. That should amount to several thousand dollars, based on circulation increases from September through December 2011.
Finally, the startup costs to join CAFÉ were absorbed in the 2011 budget and will continue to lend extra dollars for ongoing library operations next year as well as this year, he said.
More money for materials
An example of smaller savings elsewhere in the budget is the nearly $3,000 shaved off the library's electric bill since it put in different controls and energy-efficient lighting, Sampson said.
The result of saving here and there is that the proposed materials budget would rise 4 percent or $8,400. But spending will change on the types of materials to be purchased, based on recent trends, he said.
While the book budget would rise $5,000, the periodicals budget would fall $16,000 - from the current $40,000 to $24,000. The reason is that there are now fewer print periodicals as many publishers go digital, Sampson said.
The library is arranging for more online periodicals through agreements and databases. The library's proposed budget for electronic resources and audio/visual materials would go up a corresponding $19,000, he said.
- Jane Ford-Stewart
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