Indy Library Budget Sustains Services and Allows Future Planning
September 12, 2012
The Indianapolis Public Library's proposed 2013 budget maintains service hours while positioning the Library for change and eventual growth to meet future community needs.
The proposed $39.6 million operating budget includes funding to continue current hours of service that were restored in May 2012. Hours had been reduced in 2010 by 26% as a result of property tax caps and lower property values. It also establishes a $2.3 million Library Improvement Reserve Fund that can be used to address the eventual expansion of library services in areas such as northeast Marion County where demand for services is greatest.
The Library's budget represents a financial plan that provides for sustainable library services over the next five years, as well as adequate cash reserves to eliminate the need for costly borrowing to cover expenses while awaiting receipt of property tax revenues. It includes a $5.5 million materials budget, the same as 2012, which is dedicated to the purchase of books and other printed materials along with increasingly popular eBooks and downloadable audiobooks and music. Circulation of free eBooks at the Library is up over 200% from 2011.
"We're fortunate to maintain a healthy materials budget during a time in which the Library must continue to provide traditional services, such as books, while making sure we meet the needs of our tech-savvy public," said Jackie Nytes, Library CEO. "It's important the our Library Board and City Council representatives have understood the need for the Library to serve as not only a community meeting place but one where citizens can access materials."
Library usage has increased in nearly every category in 2013. The year also has seen increased Library emphasis in early childhood literacy and programs to assist in job readiness and to bridge the digital divide.
In addition to the Operating Fund, the Library's overall 2013 budget includes funds for Capital Projects ($1.8 million) and Debt Service ($9.3 million). The overall property tax levy includes a 2.8% increase over the 2011 levy based on the allowable growth rate established by the Department of Local Government Finance.
A public hearing on the Library's budget will be held before the Municipal Corporations Committee of the City-County Council on Thursday, September 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the City-County Building, 200 E. Washington St.
The public can view the Library's proposed 2013 budget online at www.indypl.org.