Carroll Broadcasting Company
Library directors from Manning, Coon Rapids and Glidden spoke to the Carroll County Board of Supervisors this morning (Monday) and provided details about the past year as well as a forecast for their needs in 2017. Linda Muhlbauer of Manning said that each library within the county has seen an increase in usage over the last 12 months, with over 107,000 visitors to the libraries and more than 17,000 program participants. They also discussed an increase in rural usage, particularly with technology. Muhlbauer said these increases are somewhat related to a national trend being seen in the industry.
Muhlbauer said the libraries are seeing a growth in their collections, but they are also seeing the costs of books rise and they are forecasting more expense this year for new additions. Last year, the libraries altogether requested $79,682 in funding. This year, they are asking the county to consider an increase of over $7,000 to $86,893. Muhlbauer said that in addition to increased costs of materials, they have seen regulatory changes that will bring unexpected expenses for implementation.
Carroll already has the catalog and is funded at a higher level than the smaller community libraries. State funding currently represents about three percent overall. Muhlbauer also presented a spreadsheet that gave the supervisors an overview of funding for like-sized counties. This comparison revealed that funding provided by Carroll County is two cents per thousand on average lower than these other counties. The supervisors thanked all three librarians, Muhlbauer, Maura Marsh from Coon Rapids and Erin Wolf from Glidden, for their presentation and said they will be using the information presented to make their budgeting decisions at a later date. The funding provided by the county to the libraries is distributed at 50 percent to the Carroll Public Library with the other 50 percent evenly divided between the other three.
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