If you’ve visited a KDL branch lately, then you probably know that the library is busier than ever. In 2008, nearly 6 million items were checked out, 160,000 people attended library programs, and over 3.4 million people visited our branches. To help accommodate this growth, some of our municipalities have even initiated new building projects.
However, one unfortunate trend is that as library use continues to grow, property tax revenue has not. Taxable value, while once growing at 5% or more annually, has now flattened to a near no-growth position. Other impacts on KDL revenue, including tax tribunal judgments, tax captures, and shrinking revenues for state aid and penal fines, have also significantly reduced library funding.
In order to maintain the high level of library service our customers have come to expect, it is our goal to proactively manage these financial challenges while staying mindful of the long-term implications. By leveraging technology, streamlining processes, reducing and reallocating library staff positions, sharing organizational resources, and aggressively pursuing ways to generate revenue outside of our traditional funding base, we plan to meet that goal.
We are working hard to make the most of your tax dollars as we move forward. However, we encourage you to show your support during these difficult times in a number of ways, including advocacy, constructive feedback, and consideration of a donation to the KDL Fund. We sincerely appreciate all that our community has helped us to achieve and look forward to a bright future together.
Posted by: Eric