Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bad News

Unfortunately, I must report that the news on the City’s budget continues to be dire. Due to the economic downturn, the City has had to find ways to cut over five million dollars from its budget this year. Further complicating our budget dilemma have been the budget take-aways by the State which have been in the millions of dollars. Our sales tax revenue is down 26% and property tax is down 10%, even before the values reset. Today, Livermore has 53 fewer employees than it did a year ago due to service cut-backs, attrition, lay-offs and other cost-cutting measures. Revenue declines continue from the lingering housing crisis and losses in sales tax revenue. Ongoing discussions with the City’s bargaining units have not been as fruitful as hoped. As a result, each City department was asked to propose an additional 5% in expenditure cuts.

Sadly, for the Library, the latest round of cuts has reduced the Springtown Branch Library hours to one day a week effective November 1, 2010. This reduction has resulted in the layoff of 2FTE employees. The Springtown Branch Library is now open Tuesdays, from noon until 8 PM. The Springtown Library will specialize in express services which include popular, heavily borrowed current materials such as new books, DVD’s and audio books. On the night that the City Council voted to close the Springtown library, they also voted to cut over half a million dollars each from both the police and fire departments.

The Civic Center Library remains open, seven days a week, evenings and weekends and has all of the programs and services enjoyed at Springtown plus many, many more. We sincerely hope Springtown patrons will continue to use the Livermore Library, even if only one day per week. We apologize for any difficulty they may experience in getting to the library on that day; however, library services continue to be available.

Library staff continues to be committed to offering the best possible resources and services with our limited staffing at our two other library sites. We have upgraded our self check out software and very much appreciate the willingness of our patrons to help us by checking out their own materials. We continue to expect that the community will use the library and its wealth of resources and will bear with us as we cope in these difficult times .

The Friends of the Library continue to help us fill some of the gaps in our budget by providing money for many of our programs. They generously fund our Authors and Arts programs and our upcoming Livermore Reads Together program. Several generous donations contributed to another successful Summer Reading Program. The donations of library materials that come to the Library and the Friends have helped to supplement our limited materials budget.

Our volunteer opportunities continue to grow. If anyone would like to volunteer, please contact Librarian Blanche Angelo at 925-373-5500 Ext. 5574. Your help is very much appreciated.

Livermore Reads Together

In February 2011, residents of Livermore will again be encouraged to read the same book. This year that book is 1906 by James Dalessandro. This novel centers on the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.

Supported by a generous contribution from the Friends of the Livermore Library, the month long celebration will be kicked off on Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 2 PM with a presentation by the author, James Dalessandro. A reception will follow featuring famous San Francisco food treats and turn of the century music by Greg Pane.

During the month the earthquake theme will represented with a variety of exciting programs and displays. The Civic Center Art Gallery will include replicas of newspaper headlines from the time along with photographs and music of the time.

Confirmed programs include :

Jack London: Eyewitness to the Great Quake performance by Live Oakes Educational theater
James Smith speaking on Lost Landmarks of San Francisco
Frisky Frolics/Tin Pan Alley Troubadours
Disaster Preparedness presentation
Dramatic reading from the book
Silent films of the earthquake
US Geological Survey presentation on earthquakes
Vine Cinema showing of the movie "San Francisco"
Livermore at the time of the earthquake presentation

Additional exciting programs are in the planning stages. All of the events will be listed on the library website www.livermore.lib.ca.us and in brochures available at all libraries.

Local book discussion groups are encouraged to select 1906 as their book choice for February. Book club kits, available for check out, include copies of the book, discussion questions and tips for leading book discussions.

Library Snapshot Day

In conjunction with a national event, libraries across California participated in Snapshot: One Day in the Life of California Libraries on Monday, October 4. All three Livermore libraries collected information, comments and photographs from events in this typical library day.Patrons were asked to complete a form telling us why the library is important to them, why they visited the library on this day and any other feedback they wish to give us. The purpose of the day was to promote libraries and provide indisputable proof that libraries consistently provide invaluable services to our community.

The results of One Day in the Life of the Livermore Public Library showed we had 56,488 card holders. Attendance on that day numbered 1,420 visitors and 3,269 items were borrowed. Staff answered 205 reference questions in person and 42 via phone, e-mail or text messaging. Over 600 library patrons used our computers. There were 2 children’s storytimes with an attendance of 117. Eighteen people received literacy tutoring and eleven students received help in the Homework Help Center at the Rincon Branch Library.

Comments included “ It’s a place of quiet peace, a place to contemplate and dream, a place to explore new worlds and people”; “ The library is a tremendous community resource”; The library is my get away place!”; “Knowledge is power…” ; “Very friendly people and clean environment”. Someone even wrote a poem about the library!

The Livermore Public Library continues to be a valuable and well loved community asset.


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