ALA

KS

In 2006, these are challenging times for small rural public libraries in Kansas. Because of declining population and a tiny property tax base, one-third of the 54 libraries that are part of the Central Kansas Library System can't raise enough tax revenue to pay a librarian to work just 10 hours a week.

School libraries suffered a setback with the 2006 passage in Kan. of "the 65 percent solution." Under this proposal, promoted by the Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group First Class Education, school districts in states that pass resolutions or ballot initiatives must spend at least 65 cents of every school dollar on classroom instruction as defined by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics. This 30-year-old definition includes classroom teachers, activities such as field trips, sports, music, and arts . . . but not libraries or librarians, who were grouped with food, transportation and other non-instructional staff and services. ALA is calling for a national effort to classify school librarians as instructional staff and to recognize the impact of state-certified librarians on student achievement. The ALA supports its main argument—that school libraries are classrooms and school librarians are teachers—with a reminder that "more than 60 research studies have found there is a clear link between well-staffed school libraries and increased student achievement."

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Library Name City Type Date
Lawrence
s
03/28/2004
Negative Impact: Board members are looking to cut the district's budget enought to offset a decrease in funding caused by declining enrollment and higher transportation and insurance costs; projections show that the district will likely lose $669,120 in state aid and costs will rise about $450,000; board members need to cut $740,000 from existing programs, including reductions in library materials and staff 

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Library Name City Type Date
Maryville
P
07/22/2004
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Bond Issues & Misc.: The city's mill levy will increase by 2.082 mills is the $8,422,968 proposed budget passes. The mill levy increase is mostly for library expenditures. The library's $125,706 expenditures for 2004 will rise to $136,900, an increase of 0.7 of a mill. The library employee benefits fund will increase by $1,000 or 1.28 mills. Combined, 1.98 mills will be needed for library expenses. 

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Library Name City Type Date
Wichita
P
08/10/2004
Negative Impact: The proposed city budget increases libary fees, which would bring in an extra $112,000 over last year. Under the proposal, the maximum fines for overdue books would go up from $4 to $5. Residents will pay $2 instead of $1 to replace a lost library card. 

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Library Name City Type Date
Kansas City
s
06/16/2005
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Positive Impact: Rising property taxes have produced a windfall for the Kansas City School District that could spare librarians and counselors from proposed budget cuts. The district could receive an additional $8 million to $10 million in property taxes in the coming budget year. All other school districts in Jackson County also are expected to receive more property taxes next year than this year, according to the Jackson County Assessment Department. A state constitutional amendment requires districts to lower tax rates to cap windfalls from large assessment increases. But Kansas City is exempt from the requirement and does not automatically adjust tax rates to prevent property owners from seeing spikes in their bills. The Kansas City district's tax rate of $4.95 per $100 of assessed value was set when Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1998 related to the desegregation case. A thriving real estate market, along with years of the county undervaluing some homes, means that some -- particularly in the southwest part of Kansas City -- are braced for tax bills double last year's. Preliminary figures released Tuesday for the Kansas City district found $2.9 billion in assessed value, up from $2.65 billion. The $250 million jump would mean an additional $12.4 million for the district and charter schools, minus tax collector fees and any successful protests by property owners. About 400 property owners have filed formal appeals, similar to the previous reassessment two years ago, Jackson County officials said. Property owners have until Monday to file a protest. About 3,200 property owners have made informal complaints, including Pelofsky, whose home value rose almost 25 percent. District budget officials estimate that the school district will receive an additional $8 million in property taxes. But some board members and the head of the teachers union said that district budget officials were notoriously conservative and that they expected the final amount would rise to almost $10 million. On Wednesday he will ask the school board to approve a $292 million operating budget that would save almost $1 million by cutting, through attrition, many librarians and counselors. It appears now, however, that there are enough votes on the nine-member board to keep full-time librarians and counselors at every school. Like Pelofsky, board member Ingrid Burnett said Wednesday that she wanted to use the extra revenue from the county to cover the costs of librarians and counselors.  

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Library Name City Type Date
Kansas City
P
06/20/2005
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Bond Issues & Misc.: Without more money pumped into the Johnson County Library budget next year,patrons can expect to see materials become outdated and buildings fall into disrepair. Librarian Mona Carmack and Library Board Chairman Terry Goodman will take that message to the County Commission today at the first of several public hearings to help shape the countys 2006 spending priorities. County Manager Mike Press outlined his proposed $656 million budget last week. That was the starting point for what was shaping up to be a spirited debate over spending for big-ticket items, from new buildings to books. The budget calls for a 7 percent increase from last years $610 million and, for now, includes no county tax increase. Press has proposed a $20.5 million library budget. Carmack requested $23.5 million. With circulation growing, Internet traffic booming and residents on pace to check out 6 million items this year, Carmack fears the proposed budget will move the library backward. I will be arguing and whining why I dont like the county managers budget, Carmack told the library board last week. This is going to cause us a great deal of trouble if we don't get any part of our proposed budget. Funding for a school liaison librarian, a facilities manager, two Web content staffers, a maintenance and replacement budget, technology, and 700 downloadable audio books are not in the proposed budget. Neither is land for a new library in western Shawnee and Lenexa, expansion of the Leawood Pioneer Library and renovation of the lower level of the Shawnee Library. Funds for library building projects have not been granted since 1998, Carmack said. For the past three years maintenance has been funded with $600,000 from the sale of property. But that revenue is depleted, Carmack said. The proposed collections budget for books, audiovisual materials and databases proposed for next year is $38,000 less than in 2002, Carmack told the board. By all accounts, county residents love their libraries. Eighty percent of county residents some 309,000 people have library cards. So far this year, they have checked out 16 items per capita. Since 2000, the library has ranked first or second nationally in excellence among libraries its size. A recent county survey showed the library system had a 90 percent satisfaction rating. The same survey showed residents were willing to pay a slight increase in taxes to prevent reductions or delays in capital improvements. But most residents were unwilling to pay increased property taxes to fund new or expanded services. Since 1995, the library mill levy has been reduced from 3.61 mills to a proposed 2.77 mills next year. One mill equals a $1 tax on every $1,000 of a property owners home value. During that time, the library has added six new or major expansion buildings. When the county talks about quality of life and community of choice, it is essential that libraries are funded, said Goodman, who also is an Overland Park City Council member. As critical as talk of new jails and a courthouse are, you have to understand thats not quality of life, he said. Parks and libraries are, and we have to find a way to fund them. If the county were to fund a top-notch library collection, per capita spending of $6.08 this year would have to increase to $10.19 next year, Goodman said. But that would still be less than what the Kansas City Public Library, the Mid-Continent Public Library and Topekas library spend for every resident, he said. Board member Ken Davis said the county could do better. The proposed budget is sending the message we are going to carry a newspaper thats only a week old, he said. Thats not the message we want to send. Hearings for other county departments will continue throughout the summer. Commissioners will vote on the budget Aug. 18. (from The Kansas City Star)  

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Library Name City Type Date
Kansas City
P
06/21/2005
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Bond Issues & Misc.: Johnson County commissioners informally agreed Monday to add more than $1 million to next year's library budget, saying the library's tax rate should not be cut. In his countywide spending proposal for next year, County Manager Mike Press had recommended a $20.5 million library budget and a 2.77-mill tax rate. But on Monday, Commissioners Dolores Furtado, Ed Peterson and John Segale, along with Chairwoman Annabeth Surbaugh, endorsed keeping the library's current 2.96-mill levy for next year. Commissioners Dave Lindstrom, John Toplikar and Doug Wood wanted to see it cut by 0.2 of a mill. A mill equals a $1 tax on every $1,000 of property value. One mill generates about $6 million in revenue in Johnson County. So if the commission sticks to Monday's informal agreement, the library will receive about $1.1 million more than Press had included in his countywide budget of $656 million. Library supporters had wanted about $3 million more than Press had called for. They said it was necessary to keep pace with a growing population, maintain the library's collection, add staff, replace technology, and repair and maintain buildings. Library Board Chairman Terry Goodman repeatedly told commissioners Monday that the proposed library budget was "austere and regressive." He said the budget could lead to poorly maintained buildings, scaled-back hours and the elimination of programs for at-risk students. "Your residents will not be long satisfied reading out-of-date periodicals, waiting months to check out new books by best-selling authors, or finding they do not have access to current publications," Goodman told commissioners. Library board members will have to choose among competing priorities. The library would like to hire a school liaison librarian, a facilities manager and two Web content staffers. Building needs include land for a new library in western Shawnee and Lenexa; expansion of the Leawood Pioneer Library; and renovation of the lower level of the Shawnee Library. The library board had also asked for an additional $1.8 million to improve its collections. Commissioners will revisit the library's spending priorities June 29. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for Aug. 8, and a vote by commissioners is set for Aug. 18. (From The Kansas City Star)  

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Library Name City Type Date
Kansas City
P
06/22/2005
Negative Impact: To balance next years budget, the Kansas City Public Library will reduce its hours and spend less money on books and other items. Nothing is firm yet, but morning hours could be cut at several locations, interim director Crosby Kemper III said Tuesday. He also mentioned the less likely possibility that some branches could go dark on some days. About $70,000 would be cut from the books budget. Kemper is also recommending cutting the equivalent of six full-time employees, probably through attrition. The board on Tuesday approved a preliminary $16.2 million budget for the 2005-2006 fiscal year, which starts in July. The budget wont be final until the board votes again in August. That leaves the library about two months to spell out exactly where the cuts will fall. The library would consult with customers before deciding to close branches on certain days of the week, Kemper said. To soften the blow, he said, hours might expand at two branches Plaza and North-East. This isnt the first year the library has faced a budget bind. Hours were cut last fall also. At that time, the book budget lost $579,000. Tax revenue simply hasnt increased enough to keep pace with expenses, Kemper told the board. Property taxes are expected to generate $12,688,511 next year, up from $12,332,637 in the current budget. The preliminary budget would also use $500,000 from a special fund benefiting the Central Library. The money would help pay for the library systems marketing staff, security and event management. It would also finance a project that creates digital copies of historical documents in the Central Librarys special collections department. Jonathan Kemper, the board president, balked at the idea. The fund was supposed to pay for new programs and events at Central and to help the library pay costs associated with getting the new building up and running. Although using the special fund for extra security might be OK, he said, he questioned using it on the marketing department. Crosby Kemper III said his goal was to avoid using that $500,000 at all, by controlling costs and collecting grants and donations. The library thought it would use money from the special fund this year to balance the budget. But the interim director said the system would come close to breaking even for the year. (Kansas City Star)  

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Library Name City Type Date
Kansas City
P
07/19/2005
Negative Impact: The Kansas City Public Library's financial situation isn't as desperate as officials had feared. To balance the 2005-2006 budget, the library approved a plan last month to cut hours, spend less on books and do away with some staff positions. But last week the library learned that it ended the 2004-2005 fiscal year with a $1.4 million surplus. The system spent much less on salaries, utilities and maintenance than it had budgeted. In addition, the library received more than $600,000 in back taxes -- an unexpectedly large payment. Even so, there is still a good chance the system will cut back operating hours at some branches. The cuts to the books and materials budget probably won't be restored. The library may also use some of the surplus money to finish up projects at the Plaza branch. The other locations could see improvements, too. The proposed cut for the upcoming year is $70,000. That's on top of $579,000 that was lost in the 2004-2005 budget. Even with these cuts, the library is still spending the same percentage of its budget -- a little less than 12 percent -- on books as other large libraries do. (from The Kansas City Star)  

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Library Name City Type Date
Gypsum
P
09/05/2006
Negative Impact: Thanks to Peggy Woods, the 400 residents of Gypsum have a working library. It's in large room at the rear of the Gypsum City Office building. The library is lined nearly floor to ceiling with shelves of books, magazines and newspapers and two computers. Woods gets seven dollars an hour and no employee benefits as the part-time librarian at Gypsum Community Library. She keeps the doors to the library open 14 hours a week. These are challenging times for small rural public libraries in Kansas. Because of declining population and a tiny property tax base, one-third of the 54 libraries that are part of the Central Kansas Library System can't raise enough tax revenue to pay a librarian to work just ten hours a week. Still, small libraries work with limited funds. At Gypsum, the city council last month approved a library budget of just $7,400 for next year. (from WIBW)  

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Library Name City Type Date
Gypsum
P
09/05/2006
Negative Impact: Thanks to Peggy Woods, Gypsum, population about 400, has a working library. It is in a large room at the rear of the Gypsum City Office building that is lined nearly floor to ceiling with shelves of books, magazines and newspapers and two computers. Woods receives $7 an hour and no employee benefits as the part-time librarian at Gypsum Community Library. She keeps the doors to the library open 14 hours a week. These are challenging times for small, rural public libraries in Kansas. Because of declining population and a tiny property tax base, a third of the 54 libraries that are part of the Central Kansas Library System can't raise enough tax revenue to pay a librarian to work just 10 hours a week, said James Swan, administrator of the Great Bend-based system. The Central Kansas Library System is one of seven established in Kansas by the Legislature to provide services for small libraries and help fund them. The library system has the authority to levy property taxes in rural areas to fund grants made annually to small libraries. Still, small libraries work with limited funds. In Gypsum, the city council last month approved a library budget of just $7,400 for next year. That will be funded chiefly through a local property tax levy of 3.109 mills and a grant of $2,000 from the Central Kansas Library System. Nearly all the library's budget, about $5,000, is earmarked for Woods' wages. That leaves only about $2,400 for other expenses that include Internet access. The annual budget for new books and periodicals is only about $700. The key to survival for small libraries, Swan said, is "the will of the people." He hopes that will is strong. "So many people in our area have lost their schools. If the library goes, there's nothing left," Swan said. "The library tends to be the social cement that holds things together." Leslie Bell, of Norton, administrator of the Northwest Kansas Library System, said most rural libraries are tended by those with no college training as librarians. "The majority are just people interested in libraries and are willing to put in hours to provide that service to their communities," Bell said. That describes Woods, Gypsum librarian for 15 years. At her library, the book collection includes about 6,000 titles, a fraction of the 219,489-book collection at the Salina Public Library in the county seat. But Woods takes pride in knowing nearly all her visitors and taking the time to help them. She tries to keep in the collection the newest best-sellers. What books she doesn't have, she can request through a sharing program with other libraries in the state. Roy Bird, of the Topeka-based State Library of Kansas, said rural libraries generally "are doing a fantastic job. You can find things at small rural libraries, just like you can at larger libraries, such as Salina." The State Library of Kansas, which collects statistical data on each of the state's 325 public libraries, has found that tax levies of two to six mills are common sources of funding for Kansas libraries. Those who live outside the taxing districts of local libraries are taxed through the regional library system. This year, the assessed valuation for the 16 counties of the Central Kansas Library District is projected to rise about 14 percent -- to $891.2 million, Swan said. As a result, the Central Kansas Library System is able to decrease its property tax levy slightly, to 1.213 mills, yet generate more revenue. (from The Topeka Capital Journal) 

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Library Name City Type Date
Salina
P
09/19/2006
Negative Impact: The door bangs as it closes. With a glance upward, Peggy Woods greets her visitors. She's working in a large room at the rear of the Gypsum City Office building that is lined nearly floor to ceiling with shelves of books, magazines and newspapers. Oh, and two Internet computers. At one of them, Woods, the part-time librarian at Gypsum Community Library, is helping a boy look for information about Mars. This is a scene familiar to Jolene Keller, owner of Gypsum Creek Daycare. "Kids love Peggy," said Keller, who's popped in for a visit. She is steering a baby carriage; her two older children are angling for a turn at the computers before they search for books. Sometimes they take home movies on DVD, too. "She's sweet about looking the other way when our books are overdue," said Keller, smiling. That Gypsum, population about 400, has a public library is a testament to Woods' dedication. For the wage of $7 an hour, and no employee benefits, she keeps the doors to the library open 14 hours a week. With that, Gypsum is fortunate. These are challenging times for small rural public libraries in Kansas. Because of declining population and a tiny property tax base, one-third of the 54 libraries that are part of the Central Kansas Library System can't raise enough tax revenue to pay a librarian to work just 10 hours a week, said James Swan, administrator of the Great Bend-based system. The Central Kansas Library System is one of seven established in Kansas by the Legislature to provide services for small libraries and also help fund them. The library system has the authority to levy property taxes in rural areas to fund grants made annually to small libraries. Still, small libraries work with limited funds. At Gypsum, the city council last month approved a library budget of just $7,400 for next year. Nearly all of the library's budget, about $5,000, is earmarked for Woods' wages. That leaves only about $2,400 for other expenses that include Internet access. The annual budget for new books and periodicals is only about $700. The key to survival for small libraries, Swan said, is "the will of the people." He hopes that will is strong. "So many people in our area have lost their schools. If the library goes, there's nothing left," Swan said. "The library tends to be the social cement that holds things together." Leslie Bell, Norton, administrator of the Northwest Kansas Library System, said most rural libraries are tended by those with no college training as librarians. "The majority are just people interested in libraries and are willing to put in hours to provide that service to their communities," Bell said. That describes Woods, Gypsum librarian for 15 years. At her library, you won't find a coffee bar or an expansive computer lab. The book collection includes only about 6,000 titles, a small fraction of the 219,489-book collection at the Salina Public Library in the county seat. But Woods takes pride in knowing nearly all her visitors and taking the time to help them. She tries to keep in the collection the newest best-sellers. What books she doesn't have she can request through a sharing program with other libraries in the state. Roy Bird, of the Topeka-based State Library of Kansas, said rural libraries generally "are doing a fantastic job. You can find things at small rural libraries, just like you can at larger libraries, such as Salina." That's the case at Minneapolis, where the library is housed in a new building and has a diversified collection of books, magazines and video materials "Our computers bring people in," said Ronald Brubaker, director and chief librarian. "We were averaging, three years ago, about 250 a month on our computer usage. Then two years ago we were up to 350, currently we're up to about 410." Minneapolis resident Jane Ketron said she visits the library often. "It's really nice. I check out magazines a lot, so I don't have to buy them and I don't have to throw them away," she said. Ketron works in Salina but seldom goes to the public library there. "This has what we need here," she said. "My kids come here. We have a daughter in high school and she uses the library for its resources." Even with help from the state system, about a third of the Kansas libraries have budgets of less than $10,000, Swan said. He said the minimum budget for any library should be about $11,000. "If they have $1,000 left over for books, that's a lot," he said. New books aren't cheap. "Show me a shelf three feet long and give me $1,000 to buy books and I'll still have plenty of room for more books," he said. Swan expects that the day is approaching, perhaps within a decade, when lack of funding will force some towns to close their libraries. "I would love to see some small libraries consolidate with school libraries," he said. "But if there's a town where a school is dying and the library is dying, combining two weak organizations will not create a strong organization." One solution, although Swan says it is not ideal, is to rely on volunteers to keep the lights on in the state's smallest libraries. He counts about four libraries that have taken that step. He's confident that the reliance on volunteers, however, lowers the quality of library services. The Central Kansas Library System seeks to discourage communities from adopting the volunteer approach by docking the amount of grant money they receive. Nonetheless, the public library at Burr Oak, a town of 230 residents in Jewell County, embraced the volunteer approach about 10 years ago. "It sounds ideal, but it's not," said Becky McNichols, a member of the library board of trustees and the head volunteer. Plans are under way to return to having a paid, part-time librarian. One problem in using only volunteers, she said, is that, "No one wants to be responsible for decisions." Hiring a librarian to work 10 hours a week will make the Burr Oak library eligible for full grant funding from the regional library system. Reorganization also is under way to expand the library district to cover four townships, meaning that a small property tax levy will raise money. It's much the same story at the community library in the nearby Phillips County town of Long Island, population about 150. Eileen Gebhart is the town's librarian. She's paid $900 annually for working seven hours a week. There're a handful of volunteers who keep the library open three more hours a week. The library, with a yearly budget of about $4,000 and a collection of about 3,600 books, takes up about a third of the community center, built in 1996. "If we didn't have it, we'd have to go about 20 miles to find a library of any size," Gebhart said. (from the Salina Journal)  

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Library Name City Type Date
Wichita
P
09/29/2006
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Potential Fundraising Activities: Right now, it's just a crumbling wall. The windows are boarded. The front door leads to a pile of rocks and lumber. Weeds and volunteer trees spring up from the rubble. But Lynn Pettigrew Norris and her husband, Randy, see a library, a small thrift store, a play area for young children and a computer lab with Internet access -- in one 40-by-50-foot building. All that stands between them and their vision is $50,000. On Saturday, the Norrises and others will hold a breakfast fundraiser at the Dexter Community Building to help reach that goal. They started their quest as a way to give back to their hometown of 300 residents, 90 miles southeast of Wichita. "With Dexter being such a rural area, a library is a must," said Lynn Norris, who grew up in the town. When she stands in front of the ruins of Shadid's grocery store, she remembers the nights her father picked her up in his red county truck in front of the store after piano lessons. He died when she was 18. Shadid's would let the town's children run a charge account for candy bars and soft drinks. "All of us kids had a tab at Shadid's," Norris said. "When our tab became too large -- usually under $5 -- our parents were called to pay the bill." This is the lifestyle she wants her three children and six grandchildren to have. "We lived in some large cities during our military days," Norris said. "It was good to move home to a simpler place and time. "This is why we want to start a library in Dexter. It is important to my husband and me to try to do our part in keeping our hometown alive." Community residents are beginning to step forward to help. One woman has offered to be a librarian. The local phone company, Southern Kansas Telephone, has offered free Internet access. Licensed carpenters, plumbers and electricians have volunteered their services. A local engineer donated time to check out the safety of saving the wall and offered to draw up plans for the library. Wichita Friends of the Library, the Winfield library and area neighbors have donated more than 6,000 books. Shelves for the library have been donated by the Eastern Cowley County Resource Center, which serves all of Cowley and parts of Sumner, Elk and Chautauqua counties. The nonprofit resource center, of which Lynn Norris is director, has bought the lot with the crumbling wall on Main Street. Norris wants to call the library the Lighthouse Library, in part because her daughter Jennifer, who died seven years ago in a car accident, was enthralled by lighthouses. Randy Norris said that when the library is ready, he will climb to the top of a hill where red round rocks are scattered about. The hill overlooks the Norrises' family farm. He and others will cart hundreds of rocks to the library site to create a play area -- complete with a lighthouse and "oceanfront" with sand. "We have lots of dreams for our little town -- but no money," Lynn Norris said. "We have hands of volunteers who will build these things, but no construction material. "We just wanted something so people won't forget our daughter. She lived, and her life mattered." And although the money may not be there yet, Norris said, she's certain her vision will be realized. "I think we will build the library. I just believe we will," she said. (from The Wichita Eagle)  

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Library Name City Type Date
Wichita
P
11/09/2006
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Positive Impact: Returns on Tuesday showed voters were in favor of buying liquor on Sundays, supporting their public libraries and funding local schools. Library votes Rose Hill voters approved an initiative to establish a library board and as much as a 4-mill levy to maintain a public library. Some residents in the Butler County town of 4,000 wanted a library separate from the school. Voters in Haysville approved a $3.9 million bond issue for a new library, which would anchor the town's historic district and more than double the size of the current library, from 12,000 to 30,000 square feet. In recent years, populations of both towns have grown substantially and many residents in each say they see the need for larger community-gathering places. (from Wichita Eagle)  

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Library Name City Type Date
Rose Hill
P
11/28/2006
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Positive Impact: By 609 to 498, voters in Rose Hill passed an initiative to establish a public library—the community library had previously been part of the school district’s elementary media center—and authorize a levy up to four mills. (from American Libraries) 

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Library Name City Type Date
Haysville
P
11/28/2006
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Bond Issues & Misc.: Haysville residents approved by 1,180 to 1,139 a $3.9 million bond issue to construct a new library that will double the present library’s size and help anchor the town’s historic district. Both communities have seen substantial population growth in the last decade, and residents say they see a need for larger community gathering places. (from American Libraries) 

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Library Name City Type Date
McPherson
P
11/28/2006
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Positive Impact: By 1,532–622, McPherson residents approved a sales tax to fund expansion and renovation of the library August 1.(from American Libraries)  

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Library Name City Type Date
Bonner Springs
P
11/28/2006
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Positive Impact: In a September 12 special election, 80% of Bonner Springs voters approved a 0.25% sales tax to pay for the $3.5 million bond for constructing a new library. (American Libraries)  

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Library Name City Type Date
Basehor
P
11/28/2006
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Positive Impact: On February 28, Basehor residents authorized the library to raise property taxes by 0.787 mill to pay for a new building. The expected $2.99 million will fund site preparation, construction, furniture, fi xtures, and professional fees. (American Libraries)  

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Library Name City Type Date
Pittsburg State University
a
09/26/2005
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Positive Impact: Students at Pittsburg State University, KS, will have expanded access to an array of electronic resources, thanks to a $1.7 million gift from the estate of Theodore and Faery Loveridge. (from Library Hotline)  

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Library Name City Type Date
P
12/30/2005
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Positive Impact: A sales tax earmarked to build a new library in Andover was approved by 64% of voters. Residents of Eureka passed a one-cent sales tax for 20 years, part of which will go toward an addition to the public library. (from American Libraries) 

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Library Name City Type Date
Wichita
a
06/12/2006
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Positive Impact: Newman University has begun construction on its new library and campus center. The two-story, 48,000 square foot building is expected to open late summer 2007 with a price tag of about $14.25 million. (from Library Hotline)  

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Library Name City Type Date
Kansas City
s
07/21/2006
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Positive Impact: Kansas City, Kan., students will have a few more books to choose from at their school libraries soon, thanks to a nearly-$300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education. According to a press release from Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools, the fund will be used “to purchase new, culturally relevant and interesting books and media resources, to provide age-appropriate incentives to students for reading, and to provide additional staff, support training and equipment to make libraries more accessible to students.” “We know that having access to quality books and reading materials makes a difference for kids,” said David Smith, the school district’s assistant to the superintendent for communications and community development. “We really hope to excite kids about reading and use this money to buy some new materials to do that.” Grant funds total $292,976, and will be used to fund a project called “Zap the Gap” Read to Succeed.” “The goal of the project,” the district’s press release stated, is to increase the reading achievement of all students by empowering students to choose their own reading materials, increasing recreational reading, eliminating the ‘summer slump’ and bringing back the love of reading to young people.” “I think it’s going to make a big difference,” Smith said. “I think we’ll use the money wisely.” Dr. Mary Cohen, the regional representative for the U.S. Secretary of Education, was scheduled to appear in KCK on Friday to award the grant to Superintendent Dr. Jill Shackelford.  

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Library Name City Type Date
Lawrence
P
05/19/2007
Negative Impact: Some of the city's larger social service agencies are being ordered to make do with less as the result of a serious budget crunch at City Hall. Organizations such as Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, Salvation Army and Boys and Girls Club have been told they'll receive 6 percent less in city funding than what commissioners previously approved for the 2007 budget. The reductions are part of an effort by City Manager David Corliss to find $3.5 million of budget cuts to respond to an expected decline in sales tax revenues and a slowdown in the area's real estate market. "I'm sure it will have a negative impact on the ability of those agencies to deliver services," Corliss said of the outside agency cuts. Corliss is ordering the 6 percent cuts for all outside agencies that receive city funding. He's also recommending several city positions remain unfilled this year, including director positions for human relations and parks and recreation. He also recommends changes to police recruiting, which will slow how quickly vacancies are filled. The Lawrence Public Library also will be hit by the cuts. Corliss is ordering a 6 percent cut to its budget: $177,000. "They won't be able to absorb that," Corliss said. "There will be a service cut." Attempts to reach Library Director Bruce Flanders were unsuccessful. Social service leaders on Friday tried to take the news in stride. David Johnson, chief executive officer at Bert Nash, said the organization's WRAP program that reaches out to at-risk youth would find a way to maintain services despite a $15,000 cut. But he's concerned for the future. "If there is no WRAP program in the future, I'm sure it would make a huge difference in dropout rates and youth violence," Johnson said. "We'll certainly be watching how the city makes budget decisions very closely." (The Journal World)  

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Library Name City Type Date
Lawrence
P
05/22/2007
Negative Impact: There likely will be fewer new books and less time to check them out if the Lawrence Public Library is ordered to follow through on $177,000 worth of budget cuts. Bruce Flanders, executive director of the library, said Monday that his staff still was working on options to respond to a 6 percent cut that City Manager David Corliss is recommending to shore up a troubled city budget. But Flanders said the most likely scenario would be to cut the library's hours of operation and reduce the number of books and materials the library purchases. "It is probably going to be noticeable to the public, whatever we do," Flanders said. Flanders said he hopes to have some recommendations for the city's Library Board -- the group that oversees the library's operations -- to consider by the end of the month. Flanders said he could envision up to a 10 percent cut in library hours, which would amount to a reduction of about eight hours per week. Surveys have found that library use is at its lowest during the early weekday hours. Flanders said opening the library later than 9 a.m. on weekdays might be an option. The library is open 73 hours per week: from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. A reduction in hours, though, won't be enough to meet the $177,000 in ordered cuts. Flanders said a preliminary analysis found that cutting library operations by four hours a week for the remainder of 2007 would result in about $25,000 in savings. Flanders said cutting back on book purchases was another likely option. The library has about $300,000 remaining in its budget this year to buy new materials. "The budget we have now for new purchases is not extraordinary," Flanders said. He said cutting back on purchases could create a "gap in information" the library may have to live with for years. At least one city commissioner, though, wants to discuss the possibility of modifying the cuts that Corliss has recommended. Commissioner Boog Highberger said he was concerned about the cuts to the library and several social service agencies. "I have concerns about doing this to organizations that we already have made a commitment to," Highberger said. "Rearranging our city budget is one thing, but asking people and organizations to rearrange their budgets on such short notice makes me a little uncomfortable." Other commissioners, however, backed Corliss' approach of ordering 6 percent across the board cuts for all outside agencies -- organizations that are not technically part of the city's governmental operations. "I think we have to approach all these outside agencies with the same percentage decrease in funding," City Commissioner Mike Dever said. "If you start making choices between individual agencies, you end up with a political scene that we're trying to avoid." Flanders said he understands the city is facing about a $1 million shortfall in sales tax collections and expects to see a significant slowdown in growth of property tax receipts. But he said it was still disappointing to see the library's budget on the chopping block -- given there's been a lot of discussion about building a new library and improving library services. "We have set new levels of use for the library for many years running now, and we fear that could come to a screeching halt later this year because we're not going to be able to provide the level of service that the public is used to," Flanders said. City commissioners will discuss the proposed budget cuts at their 6:35 p.m. meeting today at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets. (The Journal News)  

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Library Name City Type Date
Andover public library Wichita
P
10/25/2005
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Fundraising Results: SBC Communications has donated $25,000 to the capital campaign for the new Andover public library. The gift will help fund technology initiatives. The campaign is trying to raise $400,000, which will match a Forrest C. Lattner Foundation challenge grant. The donation from SBC put the campaign at $200,000. The new library will sit at the entrance to Central Park on Central east of Andover Road. It will cover 15,000 square feet and cost an estimated $2.3 million. (from the Wichita Eagle)  

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Library Name City Type Date
Cleaveland Elementary School Wichita
s
06/16/2004
Negative Impact: As part of the $50,000 total budget reductions, school officials voted to reduce the librarian's time to almost nothing. 

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Library Name City Type Date
Kiowa county library Greensburg
P
05/09/2007
Negative Impact: The mile-and-a-half wide tornado that destroyed 95% of Greensburg, Kansas, the night of May 4 and left nine people dead also wiped out the main branch of the Kiowa County Library, located in the city’s downtown. Librarian Debbie Allison, whose historic home was also demolished by the storm, visited the ruined facility May 7 and reported that only a section of the walls was left standing, up to a height of three feet. She found that a few books remained, but they were completely soaked and unsalvageable. Kansas Library Association Executive Director Rosanne Siemens told American Libraries that Main Street, where the library stood, was in the center of the tornado’s path. “There’s really nothing left there,” she added. The KLA Educational Foundation has set up a special relief fund where monetary contributions can be made for the library’s recovery. Write to the KLA Greensburg Fund, 1020 S.W. Washburn, Topeka, KS 66604. The foundation requests that no books be sent at this time. Letters to the Kiowa County Library may be sent to its Haviland branch, 115 N. Main St., Haviland, KS 67059. The Greensburg High School library fared little better, with the east wall gone and the floor and tables covered with mud and debris, the Hutchinson News reported May 7, although some shelving was intact. A sign on the glass doors of the library still announced that no food, gum, candy, or drinks would be allowed. Greensburg Schools Superintendent Darin Headrick told the Associated Press that when school resumes in August, the district would hold classes in other communities. “Our teachers will have jobs; our students will have classrooms to attend,” he said. (American Libraries)  

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Lawrence Public Library Lawrence
P
06/09/2004
Negative Impact:  

Positive Impact: The City Commission will support a major increase in funding for the library. Under the proposal, the library's budget would increase by nearly $500,000 in 2005, from $2.07 million to $2.5 million. 

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Library Name City Type Date
Pittsburg USD 250 Pittsburg
s
08/10/2004
Negative Impact: As part of the school district's budget, the district library clerk position was eliminated. 

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Library Name City Type Date
Planeview Community Library (inside Colvin Elementary school) Wichita Falls
P/
10/10/2003
Negative Impact: Six months ago budget cuts forced the closure of the public portion of the library at Colvin Elementary School 

Positive Impact: On October 9, the library official reopened under the new name, Planeview Community Library; serves a diverse, mostly low-income neighborhood 

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Library Name City Type Date
Plaza library Kansas City
P
11/02/2005
Negative Impact:  

Positive Impact: "We have an opportunity to do things we never did before." Crosby Kemper III, the Kansas City Public Library system's executive director about the potential of the extra space in the Plaza Library. The Plaza Library started operating in a brand new building more than six months ago, but work didn't stop when officials cut the ribbon at the grand opening. That's partly because the building wasn't actually complete when it debuted. The entire lower level was left unfinished, and most of the building didn't have carpet because of budget issues. In the last few months, though, library leaders have announced plans to fill in those blank spots. There have been other improvements, too, such as longer hours of operation. In the coming weeks, customers will even be able to check out laptop computers. "If you looked at my time, about 30 to 40 percent has been spent on Plaza," said Crosby Kemper III, the Kansas City Public Library system's executive director. Library officials say they are pleased with community response. Since opening in mid-April, Plaza has recorded 150,891 visits to its location. So far this year, the branch has circulated 253,314 books, DVDs, compact discs and other materials. The library occupies two floors in the Plaza Colonnade, an office tower at 4801 Main St. where the old library used to be located. The library district let private developers build the tower on the property in exchange for 50,000 square feet inside. The library retains ownership of the land itself. When the library opened, its entire lower level -- 15,000 square feet -- was left unfinished because the developers said there wasn't enough money. In September, though, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation awarded the library a $2.1 million grant to finish the lower level and build an auditorium with 350 to 400 seats. As part of the grant, Plaza will start hosting lectures about President Harry S. Truman, in partnership with the Truman Library Institute. A permanent Truman exhibit will be based at Plaza. Kemper wants the library to install state-of-the-art teleconferencing equipment, so out-of-town authors and academics could be booked for speeches and other events. The executive director wants to raise another $ 1.5 million to $ 2million for programming and other features. The lower level wasn't the only delay in the new building. Because of cost overruns, the Plaza Library didn't enough money for carpet in most departments when it opened. The children's area has carpeting, but the other sections are all bare. But now, thanks to an unexpected surplus from last year's budget, the library will be able to put down carpet and fix up its main meeting room with a professional audiovisual system, said Joel Jones, the Plaza Library's branch manager. The Kansas City Art Institute has been asked to create some fiber art for the floor near for the circulation area, Kemper said. Everything will probably be complete by the end of the year, he said. The new flooring should cut down on some of the sound problems at Plaza, said Therese Bigelow, the deputy library director who oversees the branch system. Keith Spare, the South Plaza Neighborhood Association president, said he's glad to hear about the improvements. He said it had been disappointing to see the library open without carpet and other basic items, especially when the Central Library in downtown Kansas City, which opened a year earlier, had them. But, Spare said. "We're delighted to have it open again." Plaza has always been one of the Kansas City system's busiest locations, Bigelow said. "I think it's location. If you really think about it, it's in the center of the city." (from Kansas City Star)  

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Library Name City Type Date
The Kansas City Public Library Kansas City
P
09/04/2004
Negative Impact: The Kansas City Public Library will reduce its hours, spend less on books and use almost $650,000 of its reserves to balance this year's budget. Higher operating costs -- many of them associated with the new Central and Plaza libraries -- are forcing the cuts, but library trustees stand by the decision to open the new buildings.  

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Library Name City Type Date
The Plaza Library Kansas City
P
05/02/2005
Negative Impact:  

Positive Impact: The new Jarrettsville Branch of Harford County Public Library, Belcamp, MD, recently broke ground. When opened in winter 2006, the facility will include 20 public access computers, a 1000 square foot meeting room, drive-through window service, self-checkout stations, and a fireside reading area.  

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Fundraising Results: The “Buy a Book” campaign already has raised $10,000. 

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Library Name City Type Date
Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library Topeka
P
03/17/2004
Negative Impact: Senata Elections and Local Government Committee is debating a bill that would allow Auburn to withdraw from a countywide property tax that funds the library; the bill would allow the Auburn City Council to redirect the $42,771 that city send to county library annually to support its own local library; bill could open up other county libraries to same thing; if bill passes, it could cause a large gap in the library's $13.4 million budget 

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Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library Topeka
P
09/21/2003
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Fundraising Results: Big sales as Friends of Library book sale fundraising event; sale might gross record-setting $30,000 

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Library Name City Type Date
Topeka Public Schools Topeka
s
04/25/2004
Negative Impact: School officials are planning on budget cuts, including cutting the equivalent of five FT library clerks and reduce the library materials budget (Savings: $186,253) 

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Library Name City Type Date
Topeka Unified School District 501 Topeka
s
05/22/2004
Negative Impact: The school district is cutting five full-time library clerks and reducing the materials budget (savings of $186,253). 

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Library Name City Type Date
University of Kansas
a
09/14/2005
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Fundraising Results: Nancy Sanders and her husband, William Crowe, left a planned gift of $250,000 to the University of Kansas Endowment Association for the Raymond W. and Dorothy Jewell Sanders Fund. The fund will be used to encourage interest in librarianship as a career by providing support for one or more students employed in the University of Kansas libraries. (from University Wire)  

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Library Name City Type Date
Wichita Public Library Wichita
P
08/29/2006
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Positive Impact: The board of the Wichita Public Library (WPL), KS, has unveiled a $56 million, 15-year master plan for libraries, involving a new 135,000 square foot central library by 2011 and two 25,000 square foot regional libraries to replace three smaller branches, a new 7500 square foot library replacing two other branches, and the expansion and/or remodeling of the remaining facilities. Next month, the city council will decide whether to endorse it. Based on positive reaction to the presentations WPL made in each council member's district, director of libraries Cynthia Berner Harris said she anticipates the plan will be approved. A public survey determined that, by a three-to-one ratio, Wichita citizens would rather drive longer, up to 15 minutes, in order to reach a larger facility offering more services. Focus groups revealed that even regular users "didn't understand all we have to offer," noted Berner Harris. This information was used to secure a $25,000 grant to market library services, increase outreach and partnerships, and "think outside the facilities themselves." (from Library Journal) 

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