The Outrider The Outrider The Outrider

September 2001
Volume 33,
Number 9



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Libraries see fluctuation in budgets
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Former librarian, State Library board member dies
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Libraries see fluctuation in budgets

  • Wyoming public library budgets for July 1, 2001 through June 30, 2002, are positive for many libraries while some face cuts and layoffs.

    The following is a summary of the conditions in the 23 counties as reported by the directors.

Albany County Public Library reported a $487,427 budget with 1.73 mills for FY02, a slight decrease from FY01. The library estimates its income will total $546,326 this year compared with $481,523 in FY01. Staff will receive raises of 50 cents an hour, desk staff will start at $7.01 an hour and staff will increase by .65 FTEs. The materials budget will increase from $26,455 to $56,389. Susan Simpson, library director, said the library’s budget may look like a decrease in some areas, but she expects the mill levy income will be higher than budgeted.

Big Horn County Library’s budget was approved and increased to $393,808. The library’s proposed budget was $311,770. All staff will receive a 10 percent raise. There will be a 33 percent raise in the book budgets for all of the county, a raise in all the county’s library supply accounts and a large amount in the capital outlay for needed repairs and replacements throughout the county’s library system. There also will be $40,000 placed in the cash reserve for use at a later date. The Greybull Branch Library will increase its hours to include four hours on Friday.

Campbell County Library reported an increase in its budget to $2,029,065. The Campbell County Commissioners approved a 4.5 percent COLA adjustment and a two to four percent merit adjustment for all county employees. The second year of a three-year equity adjustment also was distributed to long-term employees. The Wright Branch will add a 30-hour library specialist position to allow the library to be open 12 additional hours a week. The branch, which is housed in leased mall space, also will receive funding for its own building. The materials operating budget will increase in the area of adult fiction. The increase will be offset by additional revenue generated by increased circulation of audiovisual equipment.

Carbon County Library reported its budget at $414,129 with a .650 mill. Library employees will receive a raise, which is the third of a three-year plan to increase salaries and wages. The system will add 26 open hours: nine at the main library, which will be open on Saturdays, and the remainder in the branches. There are plans to add Internet access to all branch libraries this year, add a non-English section to the main library, which will consist of books in Spanish, and to purchase needed equipment, shelving and display cases. The remainder of the budget is the same as last year with additional funding earmarked for increased fuel and utilities costs, said Vicki Hitchcock, library director.

Converse County’s budget increased to $349,631 with a .931 mill. The library will add eight hours a week; thus, opening an hour earlier at 9 a.m. and will stay open until 2 p.m. on Monday and Saturday. The Glenrock Branch is tentatively scheduled to open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays in January. The book budget will increase about 15 percent, periodicals will be allotted an extra 10 percent and video spending will increase about 25 percent. The Books-On-Tape lease program will expand by 50 percent because of additional funds available from the library foundation. Karen Hopkins, library director, said the library received $20,000 less than initially requested but there were some changes that worked to their advantage. She said that health insurance and expected fuel increases were lower than expected, and cash carryover was more than expected.

Crook County Library reported its budget at $200,681 with 1.831 mills. The increased budget will allow for salary increases, creation of a children’s librarian position at the Moorcroft Branch, increased hours of Moorcroft part-timers from five to 15 hours a week, library payment to a portion of employee’s health insurance with the county plan, increases in telephone and utilities, another WYLD connection at Hulett, replacement of two old computers and an increased amount set aside in Capital Construction Reserve.

Fremont County’s budget for FY02 totaled $1,082,952 with 1.311 mills. The increase in the library budget will go toward organizational restructuring, salary increases, new employees, professional development, implement Service Response Planning model, increase open hours, marketing, collection development and technology.

The mill for Goshen County remained the same for FY02 at 1.7 with the budget increasing to $191,409. Isabel Hoy, library director, said the board focused on salary increases in a multi-year plan to more fairly compensate county library employees. The board’s goal was to increase salaries to better enable employees to purchase their own insurance since they don’t receive paid insurance as part of their pay package, Hoy said. The library’s financial future has become more stable since the library board can rely on the 1.7 mills from the 12-mill county levy each year, she said.

Hot Springs County Library promoted a part-time employee to full-time, and the director and one other employee received a 3.5 percent raise from the budget increase to $135,346. The library opened two more hours Monday-Friday beginning Sept. 4, and possibly will be open until 8 p.m. one night a week. The library will have a book budget and offer medical insurance and Wyoming retirement for all employees including the new director.

Johnson County’s mill was 1.974 and the library budget amounted to $248,325. All staff will receive a salary increase, but employees now will pay 10 percent of health insurance premiums and the county 90 percent; the county used to pay for the entire premium. Collection development will retain similar levels as in the past two years and a small surplus at the end of the 2001 budget will enable the library to upgrade many old computers.

Laramie County Library System received $2,204,108 with a two-mill levy. The budget will allow for a five percent salary increase including a raise in base pay by five percent. There will be a seven percent increase for collection development as specified from a previous library strategic plan. The LCLS will have three large projects including installation of pay for printing, a comprehensive classification and compensation study, and the central library building project. Lucie Osborn, library director, said the goal for FY02 is to be on the Nov. 2002 General Election ballot for specific purpose tax for the library building. The library also will hire an architect and various consultants in FY02.

Lincoln County Library reported $592,700 with a .958 mill levy; however, Mary Lynn Corbett, library director, said it’s not as much as they requested so money for capital improvements will be cut out of the budget. The library will be able to raise its base salary and improve the materials budget, though Corbett said it’s still not where it should be.

Natrona County’s Library Director Bill Nelson reported its mill levy shifted to a monetary requirement. The library budget increased to $1,157,000. In July, the NCPL board approved salary increases of 16.7 percent to bring the library’s salary scale in line with other Natrona County departments. The board also authorized the hiring of one additional professional staff. Nelson said NCPL will work with the school board, Natrona County Commissioners and local cities to expand the budget with Recreation District funding. He said the library also will work with a variety of jurisdictions to achieve at least $1.2 million annually so it can be open seven days a week.

Niobrara County Library’s budget with a 1.35 mill was $65,740. The increase in the budget will allow for one additional staff later this year. According to Debbie Sturman, library director, the Niobrara County School District No. One voted to create a one-mill recreation district. The library anticipates that some funding will be available upon application; however, no funds will be expended until next year.

Park County had an increase in its budget to $515,554 with 1.197 mills. Salaries and staff hours will expand to allow the library to plan more open hours.

Platte County reported a slight decrease in their budget to $235,322 with 2.04 mills for FY02. Despite the decrease, salaries will increase and other line items will remain stable. Patty Myers said the library did not take a cut but there was less cash on hand for carryover. She said Platte County industries are again challenging taxes, so cash flow will be limited since money goes into escrow accounts during protest periods.

Sheridan County’s commissioners have appropriated 3.089 mills for county library services and the budget is $801,099. The increased budget will allow employees to receive a six percent raise, address some deferred maintenance and more aggressively pursue library goals said Cathy Butler, library director.

Sublette County’s budget was set at $851,302 with one mill. There will be a five percent raise for the permanent staff and collection development will increase to $7,500. Capital improvements will total $7,000 for concrete work, which will match $7,000 from the town of Pinedale. The county commissioners will set aside $800,000 to fund a new addition to the Big Piney Library, which will be kept in a general fund.

Sweetwater County’s budget was $2,456,699 with 1.54 mills. The library originally requested $4,075,811; therefore, the library will make some cuts to save money. The library system’s woes also stem from a $130,000 budget shortfall in the 2000-01 budget when revenues were less than budgeted. As of Oct. 1, the library will end its bookmobile service with the layoff of one part-time person, reduce one full-time to part-time, reduce the hours at three of the rural branches, reduce the hours of four part-time positions, leave two part-time positions vacant and lay off one full-time reference librarian. The library’s cash reserve-building fund will be eliminated, and the cash reserve will decrease.

Teton County Library reported a budget of $2,371,821 with three mills. The library approved a new salary structure that will account for increases in library staff salaries between six and nine percent. The budget increase will cover an anticipated increase of 20 percent in health insurance costs. With the additional revenue, the library will add one full-time staff member and add $40,000 to its collection development budget.

Dale Collum, Uinta County library director, said in FY01-02, Uinta County’s mill rose substantially. The original budget request was for $540,000 in mill revenue; however, the library will receive $606,890 from the mill plus $177,088 in non-mill revenue, totaling $783,978. The library plans to add staff to increase public service hours at each location by four hours a week. In addition, it will consider adding $30,000-plus to the collections budget.

Washakie County received one mill, which increased the library budget to $100,390. Tobi Liedes-Bell, library director, said there will be raises all around, increases in the travel and book budgets, and “buffing up” the WYLD Maintenance budget. This is the first time in many years they received one full mill.

Weston County’s budget is $206,608.17 with 2.076 mills, in addition to $20,000 cash reserve. Other income will come from delinquent taxes, motor vehicles, car taxes, library generated, cash-on-hand and property tax.

Wilmot “Willi” McFadden dies

  • Wilmot “Willi” C. McFadden, former Wyoming State Library board member and Rock Springs librarian, died Sept. 4, 2001, in Rock Springs. She was 81.

McFadden served as vice president of the Wyoming Library Association in 1957 and as president in 1958. She was the first WLA chair for the first National Library Week. She was legislative chair of the association in 1959 and the Wyoming Membership Chair for the American Association of Library Trustees for several years. She was president of the Mountain Plains Library Association from 1972-1973.

She was assistant librarian at the Rock Springs Public Library in 1947 and head librarian from 1953 until her retirement in 1986. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Community Fine Arts Center and the development of the White Mountain Library.

She also was active in the Sweetwater Democratic Party and a delegate to the National Democratic Convention.

McFadden is survived by her husband, John McFadden of Rock Springs; her daughters, Christina Bice of Laramie, Maureen Pedry of Longmont, Colo., and Susan Duncan of Sheridan; and six grandchildren.

Contributions in her memory can be made to the Hospice of Sweetwater County or the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Rock Springs.

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