August already! We're extending Summer Reading Club activities, gearing up for fall and heading into our 2014 budget cycle. It's time for a mid-year review of our 2013 Strategic Initiatives. Here's what we've been doing:
We're updating our collection of materials to better align library resources with patron demands, and patrons seem to be responding. Year-to-date our circulation is up nearly three percent!
We're working hard to enhance our digital resources. We launched a new website in April to create a digital branch, and more and more patrons are accessing library services via jeffcolibrary.org. In June, we began offering eReaders for check-out, to give Jeffco residents a chance to interact with new technologies. And since the beginning of the year, we've added more than 12,000 new eBook titles.
Another strategic priority is to provide information and resources to support early literacy. So far this year, we've provided nearly 1,750 early literacy storytimes to more than 48,000 participants. We also work hard to encourage children to keep up their reading skills over the summer. We're busy with Summer Reading Club, and we'll have final statistics by mid September -- but our librarians can attest to the popularity of this program!
We've also made great progress on the design and implementation of a new library service model for Jefferson County, with plans to update nearly every element of library service, including library materials and resources, programming, staffing, outreach, facilities and more. Our goal is to fully implement the new service model in one of our libraries some time next year.
It's been a busy time. But, stay tuned. There are more exciting things to come!
Tickets are $65 (or $250 if you want to race in a Z28 Camaro on Thunder Mountain!) You'll enjoy hors d'oeuvres, dinner, live entertainment, and silent and live auctions. More importantly, you'll get the chance to support literacy and education in Jefferson County.
Proceeds from the event help to fund children and teen literacy programs at the Library, such as Summer Reading Club and the Traveling Children's Library. Here's what your ticket really buys:
To reserve tickets, contact Natalie Martinez at 303-403-5075.
It's that time again...
As dependable as taxes, Summer Reading Club and back-to-school nights, our budget season seems to roll around earlier and earlier every year.
As we think about our budget, we remain committed to our long-term vision: to maintain our current level of library services and continue to make progress on our strategic initiatives in 2014; and to restore hours and services, introduce a new library service model, and expand in underserved areas as quickly as we can.
In 2013, we faced some significant budget challenges. In late 2012, we learned that property taxes revenues were coming in below original projections. This created a gap between revenues and expenses and forced us to cut costs for the fourth consecutive year. While we were able to further reduce administrative and other costs, we couldn't close the gap completely without further reducing staff, hours or services, and no one had the appetite for that! Instead, for 2013, our board elected to use $600,000 from savings to support operations, to maintain a reasonable level of service and give us time to investigate options to secure the library’s future. Needless to say, this is not a sustainable model.
Now, we’re planning for 2014. In early August, we submitted our 2014 budget to the County. I'm pleased to report that we were able to balance revenues and expenses so that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, we won't have to use savings to support operations next year. We'll also be able to maintain current service levels. We'll know for sure in late November, when final budgets are approved. Later this year, we’ll be working with our Board to look at the cost of restoring services and achieving our long-term vision so that we can plan for 2015 and beyond.
You can find detailed information about the Library’s 2013 budget on our website. We’ll post details on the 2014 budget once it has been approved.