Subject:Library budget question and statement From: Arnold Neufeldt-Fast ( To: rob.hargrave@townofws.

ca;;;; Cc:; Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2011 01:29:43

Dear Councillor Hargrave, I trust that you have had opportunity to read Sandra Bolan's article in today's (Saturday) Sun-Tribune on library funding. I was unclear about your question and statement regarding the Library CEO's budgets. In the article, you are quoted as asking: "If (it's) underfunded, why did (library CEO Carolyn Nordheimer James) set her budget at what it is?" You then say: "I'm disappointed the CEO has not stepped up and said 'I'm in charge of setting the budget and there's not a problem." My response: the Library Board Meeting minutes of the past years show a very clear, annual ritual: the Library CEO makes a budget proposal, and is directed by Town Council (annually) to reduce the budget she has proposed. For the record, here are the minutes in question (I've also put the links on my petition blog for concerned residents to read)
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2011 ("Library Bd. Mtg," Jan. 13, 2011, #5, pp. 1-2) 2010 ("Library Bd. Mtg," Nov. 4, 2009, #8.2, pp. 1-2) 2009 ("Library Bd. Mtg," Oct. 2, 2008, #11, p. 3; Dec. 4, 2008, #8, p. 2). 2008 ("Library Bd. Mtg," Feb. 7, 2008, #8.2, p. 2).

I hope that this information is a helpful reminder that there just might be a problem. You may also recall that the Library CEO has publicly noted her concern that this year's Book Sale proceed were required (for the first time) to cover basic costs of operating the facility (Sun-Tribune, Mar 25, 2011). She was very open about the library's impossible choice between staffing and materials (Sun-Tribune, Mar 2, 2011). It is also a matter of public record that you rejected her proposed increase (Sun-Tribune, Mar 2, 2011). For these reasons, your comments in today's paper are confusing to me. Also a reminder: the Library CEO has faithfully and clearly reported to Town Council in her budget plans since 2009 that one of the "key issues" faced by the library is "adequate funding to sustain and grow the Library; Staffing limitations; Space restraints" (2011 Budget Plan,p. 235; for the record, she had added the word "sustain" already in the 2009 Budget Plan, indicating that current levels of funding are not sustainable). In 2008 she said increased demand can be handled "in the short-term"--but minutes show that this is becoming a serious problem by 2009. This "key issue" appears three years in a row (earlier too, but without the word "sustain"). Let me also add one other observation: Even if we place MPMP and BMA comparisons to other communities aside, the comparisons to our own MPMP reporting over time show annual decreases in per capita library funding ($29.39 in 2006; 23.44 in 2010; this is "apple to apple" comparison). We can also look at the library's declining share of town expenditures (2004, 5.1%; 2011, 2%); or we can count and compare sq. ft., number of titles (online and on paper), and staff per capita with Orillia, Stratford, Woodstock, Lincoln, Fort Erie, etc. That is an "apple to apple," brick to brick, book to book, staff person to staff person comparison--without the use of the MPMP or BMA studies--and we come out with failing grades. I will be happy to drop the whole matter, repent and praise Town Council publicly if can you show the

residents that in some way our library is close to the provincial "average" for libraries of communities our size (specifically with respect to library staffing, materials [incl. e-resources], and facilities). I have found nothing to indicate this to date, but I am open to correction. I encourage you to give the library your best attention. Sincerely, Dr. Arnold Neufeldt-Fast ----(If you live in Stouffville, visit our Library Petition!) A. Neufeldt-Fast, 672 Millard St., Stouffville, ON, L4A 0B2; Tel/Fax: 905.642.3295; Twitter: @neufast