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IMCPL Moves to Keep All Libraries Open in 2011

July 19, 2010

A series of proposed cost reductions and revenue enhancements would allow all Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library facilities to continue operations in 2011, while providing more time to develop a plan for the long-term sustainability of the library system.

Faced with severe revenue shortfalls of over $4 million a year over the next several years from falling property tax receipts, the IMCPL Board of Trustees is considering a strategy for 2011 that would cut expenses by over $2.5 million resulting from a reduction in service hours, the books and materials budget, and other items. Additional savings would be achieved through administrative changes. The plan would also seek to increase revenues through additional user fees for such things as failure to pick up holds and replacing library borrowers cards.

Meanwhile, Library officials are negotiating one-year extended leases to continue operations at the Glendale Branch (6101 N. Keystone Avenue) and the Brightwood Branch (2435 N. Sherman Drive), which originally had been targeted for closing in 2011 due to the Library's financial crisis.

"Our work here is not nearly done," stated IMCPL Library Board President Thomas Shevlot. "We may have a bit more time to work on the sustainability of IMCPL, but it is a fluid process. We all understand our service model will have to change in order to meet the current and future demands of our patrons while balancing the financial implications brought on by a weak economy, falling tax receipts, and rising operations expenses," Shevlot added.

A systemwide reduction in hours of service was a key recommendation in June of the city's High Performance Government Team charged with assisting various units of government in finding ways to operate more efficiently.

The recommendations for cutting costs and increasing revenues will be included in the Library's budget proposal for 2011. A public hearing on the budget will occur at the Library Board meeting on Thursday, August 19 at 6:30 p.m. at Central Library (40 E. St. Clair Street). The Library Board will approve the budget on August 30 and send it to the City-County Council in September.

More information on the Library's Sustainable Library Plan can be found on our web site.