Mary Anne Wilcox: Grand County Library District responding to the times |

Mary Anne Wilcox: Grand County Library District responding to the times

To the Editor:

Every effective organization must be able to adapt to change. The Grand County Library District (GCLD) is no exception. With the difficult economic climate and yet ever-increasing library use, planning the future of the Library District is a challenging task.

The number of visits to the Grand County libraries is on the rise as library customers look for affordable information options and educational resources. Between January and the end of May 2010, there were more than 107,000 visits to Grand County libraries with a 6 percent increase in the circulation of materials and an astonishing 44 percent increase in wireless computer uses. There has also been a noticeable increase in the need for employment resources and computer instruction.

Meanwhile, the Library District has been advised to plan for a 25 percent reduction in property tax revenues in 2012. Caught between increasing library use and diminishing revenues, the Library District is exploring cost-saving measures while maintaining essential customer services.

In a proactive measure, the Library District Board of Trustees has determined that the 2011 Library District budget should reflect a 25 percent decrease in expenses. Hopefully, this positive action will help sustain GCLD through the developing lean years.

The GCLD Advisory Task Force (ATF) comprised of library staff, trustees and community members recently concluded their work. The ATF has compiled a list of cost-saving solutions for the District. These include, decreases in open hours, staffing and computer equipment.

It is hoped these measures will ensure GCLD’s continued excellence and resilience; ensuring the Library remains a vital and relevant part of the community well into the 21st century.

Mary Anne Wilcox

Executive director

Grand County Library District

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