ARCANUM – Arcanum Public Library is going to the voters in March asking for continued support from the community for the services it provides. The 1-mill levy currently supporting the library provides about one-third of the library’s operating expenses, and a renewal will continue to provide the library needed funding without any increase to the taxpayers.
Marilyn Walden, director of the Arcanum Library, said the 1-mill levy generates about $113,000 per year, and for most homeowners, it costs about $31 to $35 per year.
The levy was originally approved by voters in November 2011 and collection began in 2012 for a five-year term. Walden said the renewal will be a continuing levy, so the library will not have to return to voters again and again for funding.
“It covers about 30 percent of our expenses,” Walden said, adding that if the levy does not pass, the library staff would have to cut hours again.
“From 2007 to 2012, we cut our hours and we were closed one day a week,” Walden said. She said loss of the levy funding would reduce the programs and services available.
“We’ve joined a consortium to receive materials and borrow books,” Walden said. The network allows library patrons to borrow materials that are not available in the Arcanum stock. “That costs us $1,000 a year, so that would go by the wayside (if the levy fails).”
The library offers several programs, including an afterschool program held once a week, story time twice a week, and the summer reading program. The summer reading program was expanded from two days of programming to four days with the levy, and that would likely have to be reduced again as well if the levy did not pass.
Walden also noted that the library has fax machines and copiers available for the public to use, as well a microfilm archive and computers with Internet access.
“People can use the computers to apply for jobs or benefits,” Walden said. “A lot of people have been using them to download their W-2’s because their employers don’t give them out anymore. People also just stay in touch with each other on our computers, because some people can’t afford to have the Internet at home.” Walden said the library also occasionally offers computer classes.