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Library usage up, proposed tax rate down

— Attendance last year was 300,472, which included many patrons who used the library’s wireless access service, computers (24,022) and meeting rooms (10,827). Materials that patrons requested from other libraries numbered 71,557 as they continued to place holds on many items while in the library and from home. The number of questions answered was up to 19,972 with reference services also available from home through the library’s website 24/7. Electronic books are becoming more and more popular as patrons experiment with new e-book readers and the collection is expanded.

The Library Board has also taken steps to pursue grants and plan fundraising events.

Although the money raised has not supplanted the normal funding needed to meet core collection, staff and building expenses, it has allowed the library to provide additional services and programs. Our Public Computing Center, funded through federal stimulus funds, is in its second year. Approximately 170 patrons use the PCC each week for training at workshops, individual sessions with PCC staff for help with resumes and job applications and use of the computers for seeking employment and filling out applications.

Other library funding sources

For the fourth year, a state library construction grant has paid 50 percent of project costs; in 2011 the damaged façade of the library building on the north side was replaced. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided money to cover the cost of the broadband speed of 50 mbps for Internet access for the second year of a two-year grant. The Board of Trustees planned and held a second annual Seneca River Board Cruise in July and the third annual Barnes and Noble Book Fair in November. Friends of Baldwinsville Public Library raised funds for a refrigerator stove, and microwave for the meeting room; a computer; leaf blower; supplies for Staff Development Day; and die cuts for children’s crafts.

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